LOOKING BEYOND RACE AND CONFLICT: President Jioji Konrote and the First Lady Sarote with Victor Lal who was a personal guest of the President at a special farewell reception and dinner in London last week. The Fijileaks founding Editor-in-Chief Victor Lal presented the President and the First Lady a signed copy of his book. It turned out both are avid followers of Fijileaks
The Royal Encounters
2016: President Konrote and the First Lady meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace in London;
1982: Victor Lal and Her Majesty the Queen in Fiji
"Oh, so you beat me by 34 years", President Konrote joked with Victor Lal after meeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 earlier in the afternoon before the dinner. Victor Lal (right photo) was then a young journalist on the original Fiji Sun in 1982. Behind Lal is his old journalist friend Dennis Rounds, then with the Fiji Broadcasting Commission
Dr Butler (now Sir David) was Victor Lal's academic supervisor at Oxford in the 1980s. In 1969 Butler, now 92 and retired but still a good friend and mentor to Lal, had advised Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara on the formation of the multi-racial Alliance Party, and on party politics and constitutions in multi-ethnic societies in the British colonies. Victor Lal's late father was president of Alliance Party's Tailevu North branch, and his late uncle was the Alliance Mayor of Suva in the 1970s; he also stood twice, and naturally, lost to NFP's Deputy Leader the late Mrs Irene Jai Narayan in the Suva Indian Communal seat in the 1972 and 1977 general elections. For his services to Suva and Fiji, a street was named in his memory: RAJ MOTI LAL STREET at Raiwai, Suva. Meanwhile, in 2011, Butler was knighted by the Queen for his services to the study of elections, monarchy and the constitution.