A Message from Dialogue Fiji Committee founding member,
Mrs Suliana Siwatibau.
From its tentative beginnings in Port Vila in May 2008, Dialogue Fiji has grown into a coalescence of peoples and organisations intent on walking together in a
process of national dialogue to help steer our country to peace, prosperity and
stability. It is our hope that the coalescence will continue to expand both in
participant numbers and in geographic coverage throughout Fiji.
We see great richness in harnessing ideas, and goodwill from our multi-cultural society.
Dialogue Fiji recognises that we live in a wounded society where suspicions and rejection lie close to the surface and any coming together must be facilitated with great sensitivity. We therefore resolutely affirm basic principles of inclusiveness, creating a safe space for open exchange, trust and confidentiality.
The practical implementation of our basic principles means that we accept all views as valid – given the context. We judge no one. We separate the person from the views, opinions and actions. We respect each person’s input into the dialogue and acknowledge each contribution as made in trust and in
We have hope that people will join our process because we believe that we all have the same goal for our country no matter our differences. In the words of our national anthem – we strive for “A land of freedom, hope and glory”.
Freedom is achieved with courage. Do we have the courage to acknowledge our mistakes and the hurt we have brought upon others in our society? Do we have the courage to come together to begin dialogue and move towards forgiveness and reconciliation? We need to begin by forgiving ourselves and accepting that for each of us, the action is not the person. We can all learn from past mistakes and move on.
Dialogue has to be the beginning of forgiveness and reconciliation for our wounded society. It will not be possible if we continue to stand back in non-engagement. We invite all citizens of Fiji to search deep within themselves for the spark of compassion that recognises our common humanity and therefore our different roles in building peace for our society.
Together we can achieve our dreams.