Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.Thomas L. Holdcroft
Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna (1888-1958) was a Fijian statesman.
1936 speeches to the Great Council of Chiefs
- (on the Indian presence in his country): "Let us not ignore the fact that there is another community settled here in our midst. I refer to the Indians. They have increased more rapidly than we. They have become producers on our soil. They are continuously striving to better themselves. Although they are a different race, yet we are each a unit in the British Empire. They have shouldered many burdens that have helped Fiji onward. We have derived much money from them by way of rents. A large proportion of our prosperity is derived from their labour."
- (on the perceived need for cautious political development): "We are the High Chiefs of these islands. We are the leaders of the people. On us is the duty of pointing out to them the right course. Bear this in mind. We have to lead on two points- hold back those who advocate radical changes (for which we are not sufficiently educated) and enliven the laggards before their ignorance destroys us."
- "Eda na sega ni kilai na i Taukei kevaka ena sega mada ni dave e liu na noda dra." (English Translation: "Fijians will never be recognized unless our blood is first shed.")
Quotes about Ratu Sukuna
- "A great and noble man ... whose foresight and vision still impacts on our future." (Ratu Josefa Iloilo, President of Fiji; 2003)
- "Today we stand on the threshold of violence, disunity and hatred and ongoing for peace, non violence, unity and love. Alas! How I long to behold my Ratu Sukuna, a statesman, philosopher and guide to help us traverse the turbulent ocean of life." (Bhagwanji Bhindi, Principal of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial High School, 23 May 2005)
- "Ratu Sukuna was a godsend, not just to Fijians but also to others." (Statement from the organizing committee of the Ratu Sukuna Day celebrations, 23 May 2005)
- "This is the kind of leader we should try to emulate because he was true to himself and rose to the occasion when faced with daunting challenges always proving to the nation that they could depend on him." (Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo, national organizer of Ratu Sukuna Day celebrations, 23 May 2005)