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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 4, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Indo-Fijians have been urged to accept the fact that Fiji belongs to the Fijians.

The comment was made by a former leader of the opposition, Jai Ram Reddy, while addressing supporters of the Indo-Fijian National Federation party, in the western city of Lautoka yesterday.

Mr. Reddy said the indigenous sentiments that are being expressed by various Fijian political leaders are a reality.

He said other countries are faced with similar problems "and I believe that that kind of indigenous sentiment exists all over the world, in every country.

"I think the great challenge for Fiji and Fiji’s leaders, and particularly the Indian leaders, is to recognize that it exists there.

"It’s not going to go away."

Mr. Reddy said all of Fiji must "work around it and help resolve some of these problems that seem insolvable, given the emotions that have been aroused in the country.

Mr. Reddy, who was the former leader of the National Federation party, has maintained that he will not be returning to lead the party or contest the August general elections.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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