Kahl Torabully (France), Prof Brij Lal, Lomarsh Roopnarian (US) and Maurits Hasan Khan at the Mauritius conference earlier this month where Prof Lal was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award by the International Association for the study of Indentur
Fijian historian and academic Professor Brij Lal, who was involved in drafting the now scrapped Fijian 1997 Constitution, was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award of the International Association for the Study of Migration and Indenture at a conference in Mauritius last week.
This award recognises a lifetime's path breaking research on the history of Indian migration and settlement in different parts of the world, and is a testimony to Dr Lal's global standing in the field.
"This award comes as I move closer to retirement next year," Dr Lal said.
"I feel deeply humbled by it, knowing the long and difficult journey that has led to it.
"The recognition of my international peers means a lot to me," he said.
Dr Lal, who was in Mauritius to receive the award, said: "It was in recognition of my lifetime's work on the history and culture of the Indian indentured diaspora, which began in 1979 with a study of the girmit experience in Fiji.
"I have since visited all the major Indian indentured labour colonies in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, Africa and Southeast Asia, providing an overarching interpretation of indentured migration and settlement," he said.
Mr Lal's first book, Girmitiyas: The origins of the Fiji Indians, is now recognised globally as the foundational text in the field.
Two other scholars were also honoured: Marina Carter from Britain and Brinsley Samaroo from Trinidad.
Babasiga (pronounced bambasinga) is the dry land of Macuata in northern Fiji - our place in the sun in Fiji. Peceli is from Fiji from the village is Vatuadova and the beach is Nukutatava. Peceli Ratawa passed away on 27th December 2015 so this is Wendy's blog now. Wendy is an Australian and today live in Geelong, Australia.