[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji / Facebook]
SODELPA member of Parliament, Tanya Waqanika was today accused of lying in Parliament, after she uttered the word Indians during the budget debate.
Waqanika initially referred to Indo-Fijians as Indians, which did not go down well, but the drama followed when she denied this.
“I came across a presentation and the heading on one of the tables was Fiji Population Dynamics. This data carries a 10-year census from 86, 1996 and 2007 for the i-Taukei, Indians and general population.”
There was then a point of order raised by Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who said all people of Fiji were referred to as Fijians and Indians in fact are Indian nationals.
However, the point of order was disputed by Waqanika, who denied uttering the word Indian.
“Had the honorable speaker listen well to my speech, this is what I said. I did not make any reference, I did not state anything about Indians leaving. All I said was…this is what I said, I have no doubt that the i-Taukei will shortly decline, I did not say anything about Indians…I did not say anything about Indians.”
After yet another point of order by Sayed-Khaiyum, Waqanika admitted using the word Indian, but maintained it was in a different context.
Earlier she had claimed that the i-Taukei population will dwindle due to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.
Waqanika says she also does not think fruit picking is a job that even Australians wanted to be part of, and this should not be what Fijians should be doing either.