Friday, December 28, 2007

Ex-Methodist boss to be a chief - 28/12/07

A former Methodist Church president will tomorrow be installed as a traditional leader.Reverend Ratu Isireli Caucau will be installed as the Tora ni Bau (Chief of Batiki) in a traditional ceremony on Saturday at his home village of Mua on Batiki in the Lomaiviti Group.
Ratu Isireli, 79, said he was looking forward to giving his best to serve his people.“Already I have served as the Methodist president whereby I looked after the welfare of more than 100,000 people and serving the people is nothing new to me,” Ratu Isireli said.“But the good thing about it is that I will have something to offer back to my people. “Church and the vanua are interrelated and must go together.”
Ratu Isireli said this was an opportune time for him to serve his own people.He said he was passionate about serving his own people.Ratu Isireli is also the chairman of the Batiki District School. “One of the plans I intended to implement next year is to improve the school,” he said. “This will includes meeting with teachers and parents and to work out ways to increase quality pass rate of students at the island,” said Ratu Isireli.
The installation ceremony will begin after a church service led by Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu. “Mataqali Lewenikoro, of which I am a member, will perform the installation,” said Ratu Isireli.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fijian Savings Scheme

Study a waste of money: A-G

Last updated 12/23/2007
A study commissioned by the ousted Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Government to look into the viability of a proposed scheme that would benefit indigenous Fijians and Rotumans which cost about $162,000 has been considered a waste of public funds.
The Auditor General’s 2007 special investigation report revealed the National Savings Scheme was initially a blueprint programme and the objective was to instill a savings culture within the target group and help them build a capital fund to finance future business and investment activities. The report said Fijian Holdings Limited was engaged to carry out a feasibility study that would determine the long term viability of the scheme.
The report of the study was to assist government in deciding whether to approve of reject the scheme concept based on key financial investment analysis.
It is understood that part five of the agreement between government and FHL on January 20, 2006 provided for a VAT inclusive fee of $102,000 comprising consultancy services of $90,000 and reimbursable expenses not exceeding $12,000.
In May 2006, the scope of the study expanded to include other races and the PM’s Office and FHL deliberated on the changes to the terms of reference between March and May 2006.
This extended scope the report said amounted to an additional $60,000 was approved by the Major Tenders Board in August 2006.
The AG recommended that unless the government used the report, it might be just one of the many reports that were shelved for some reason that government was not prepared to be transparent about.
“Consequently, if the government would like specific areas to be covered in a study such as this with conclusive results, these should be clearly described in the scope and deliverables of the study.
“Unless this happens, the expenditure of $162,000 may therefore be considered a waste of public funds,” the report said.
Former chief executive officer in the PM’s office Joji Kotobalavu said the report was studied by the then SDL led government and the usefulness of it was that it informed government that a scheme for compulsory savings exclusively for Fijians would not be in accord with Fiji’s Constitution.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Need for more dialogue: CCF

20 DEC 2007 -
There needs to be more dialogue between landowners and tenants to address the issue of land problems, says the Citizens Constitutional Forum.

Responding to recent reports that tenants homes were being demolished without their knowledge in Davuilevu, CCF chief executive Rev Akuila Yabaki said landowners are not respecting their own lease terms and conditions.

“It is alarming that landowners are demolishing buildings of tenants and forcing them to move out without notice.

“It shows that the NLTB has been unable to find an acceptable solution to the land problem in Fiji. It also shows that politicians and former Prime Ministers and governments have been unable to find an acceptable solution,” Yabaki said.

Yabaki said it is the responsibility of Government and landowners to make available a reasonable amount of land, that can be used by those that don’t own any land.

“The Great Council of Chiefs and the Methodist Church have failed in their duties to create an understanding about the national importance of making adequate land available for use by landless people.”


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Singh shows flair for Fijian formalities

Thursday, December 20, 2007

AT first sight, Dinesh 'Bui' Singh, looks like your average farmer with his flowing beard and grizzled looks, shaped no doubt by years of working the land.

It's only when he rattles off in fluent Namosi dialect that you begin to realise Bui is not your average man.

The farmer from Wailoaloa, Lobau, in Navua turned heads at the town's open day last week when he presented a whale's tooth or kamunaga to the chief guest, Police Commissioner Esala Teleni.

During the qaloqalovi (a presentation of a whale's tooth to welcome a guest), the ease with which he delivered his speech, which was punctuated with humour that drew giggles from the crowd, left guests, including Commissioner Teleni, in awe.

After the ceremony I discovered that Bui had basically spent all his life among in Wailoaloa settlement, where he has a farm.

His family is one of two Indo-Fijian families in the predominantly indigenous Fijian settlement.

Bui is a popular resident in Navua. This, to a large degree, is because of his cheerful personality and proficiency in the Fijian culture.

The latter is such that even indigenous Fijians seek his services at traditional ceremonies.

People from as far as Lami and the central Suva areas have sought his help in this respect. For instance, during the funeral of popular radio host Akuila 'Momo' Verebasaga, Bui presented the sevusevu on behalf of businessman Iqbal Jannif.

He was also called upon to present a sevusevu during the funeral of a policeman in Lami earlier this year.

On Tuesday Bui was busy preparing for his son's wedding ceremony at the family home in Wailoaloa.

He expects many people from the nearby villages to attend the wedding because his family is very close to the community.

He said his family attended almost every social gathering that occurred in the nearby villages of Nabukavesi, Namosi and Navatuloa.

"Whenever there is a gunusede on, a were koro (village grass cutting) or caka bulubulu (grave work) we are always there to assist,'' he said.

Bui proudly relays that his family is so well-versed with the local Fijian culture that even his daughter, who is in primary school, is adept at weaving mats and making coconut oil.

"Us Indians and Fijians all need to hold hands to be able to live together peacefully,'' said the part-time taxi driver.

Bui said the Tui Namosi Ratu Suliano Matanitobua was a good friend. They often visited each other's homes.

"In fact we are leasing his land and he comes around every once in while to visit us,'' said Bui.

Bui's family had initially settled at Vuluniwai, about 4 kilometers from the Queen's Highway, when he was a child.

It was only 14 years ago that his family decided to lease the 150-acre farm at Wailoaloa.

The family plant vegetables and rootcrops which they sell at the Navua market.

They also breed cattle.

Bui is the fourth youngest in a family of five brothers and one sister.

He looks after his 77-year-old mother. He is blessed with two daughters, one son and a grandchild.

Bui says his life is very simple and that he like is this way, just as he enjoys all the local Fijian dishes.

"Here at home we eat everything, bele, rourou, cassava, dalo and uvi and kumala. My family has been eating this and it's a normal part of our diet,'' he said.

Former Lami Mayor Jasper Singh, who is also his cousin, says Bui is great company to be around.

"I would say that he fits in all the circles and all races," said Mr Singh.

"The fact that he speaks three languages fluently is his greatest asset,'' he said.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clans install Tui Sabeto


Tuesday, December 18, 2007 -

Sabeto Village had every reason to be jovial two weeks ago because they were finally installing the Na momolevu Na turaga Na Tui Sabeto Ratu Tevita Susu Mataitoga.

He succeeded his father, the late Tui Sabeto Ratu Kaliova Mataitoga who died a few years ago.

The appointment of the Tui Sabeto is done by the mataqali Bosali, not the kingmakers or the Sauturaga as in other traditions.

In most traditional outfits the chiefly clan would meet to have a meeting to decide who will be the next chief and inform the kingmakers.

For the vanua of Sabeto, the mataqali Bosali had the sole responsibility as the head of the clan and not the chiefly clan.

This installation of the new Tui Sabeto was unique because before the traditional ceremonies accorded to chief of such a high status, he was blessed as a commoner in the church among his people.

Whilst seeking blessing from the church, the new high chief Ratu Tevita also under took an oath to protect his people and uphold the teachings of the church.

Mataqali spokesman Eroni Lewaqai said during the special meeting of the mataqali Bosali to determine the next title-holder, young men or warriors are stationed outside to ensure that the meeting is not interrupted and things are done according to what the head of the mataqali says.

Once all that was in place on the bowl of yaqona that was served to him he made the announcement of who is the new Tui Sabeto, he said.

Whether or not you like the person appointed, you will just have to go with what was said. Once that is done we send out word to get all the other heads of the other mataqali in the area to convene at the same time.

We dont need their opinion of what the other mataqali have to say.

Then its decided when another meeting would be convened for the whole tikina of Sabeto, which comprises seven yavusa.

He said once all that was sorted out then duties were delegated out to everyone and their contribution.

He said the appointment and the date of the appointment were not negotiable.

Taukei Naevo Ratu Meli Saukuru

Chief implements stringent measures -
The high chief of Dratabu village in Nadi has implemented some stringent measures in the village to ensure that they do not abuse alcohol and get into trouble during this festive season.

With the rise in stabbings and other violent crimes associated with increased consumption of alcohol over the past few weeks, the Taukei Naevo, Ratu Meli Saukuru stresses that funds used for alcohol can be put aside for other expenses especially the school items.

Ratu Meli feels that it is important that chiefs of the various villages take the first step to advise their people.

Taukei Naevo, Ratu Meli Saukuru.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Voreqe still banned from NZ

NZ remain firm on Bainimarama

Monday, December 17, 2007 -

NEW ZEALAND will not entertain interim Prime Minister, Commander Voreqe Bainimarama's request for a visa to attend next year's Pacific Trade Expo in Auckland.

Senior press officer, James Funnell told Fiji Times Online Commander Bainimarama will not be granted a visa to visit New Zealand while sanctions remain in place.

In a Radio New Zealand International news report, the commander indicated his interest in the expo when he met with NZ Pacific Business Council chairman, Gilbert Ullrich.

During that meeting in Suva, the commander is reported to have expressed his concern about tourism and the drop in trade, saying he was interested in accompanying Fiji's delegation to New Zealand in March.

The cocoa revival


Monday, December 17, 2007 -

IT is a small fruit signified on the top end of our national flag and this fruit is customarily used as an essential ingredient that brought chocolates all around the world to life.

For decades this unique fruit has been in Fiji and the people of Namau Village in Naloto, Tailevu are trying to make the best use of it.

Better known to them as Fiji's chocolate, cocoa farmers at Namau are on the verge of producing their own organic and pure cocoa products in the country.

Ultimately, they want to build Fiji's first chocolate factory, and thus be the first to make an truly original chocolate that Fiji can call it sown.

The village is situated at about 60 feet above sea level, off Lodoni Road on a hill. It is part of the mataqali Navukuta with a population of about 158 people.

The twenty-three families that live in Namau depend essentially on the somewhat 18,000 cocoa trees that surround the village.

These families work under the careful guidance of farm manager, Tevita Niumou_ a family man who has spent half of his life babysitting these green treasures.

Tevita says elders of the villager started cocoa farming in the 1960s and taught young youths the importance of the cocoa fruit.

"I left high school in 1978 and began working with my father who showed me everything there is to know about the cocoa fruit," he said.

Tevita's big dreams for his family and the whole village rests on the cocoa trees.

"Every household in the village has land breeding thousands of cocoa trees; it's our main source of income," said the 46-year-old.

He said the village was recently visited by a couple from Sweden who recognised a cocoa fruit pictured on the national flag.

He said the couple had inquired with the Ministry of Agriculture looking for the location of a cocoa farm and later found themselves at Tevita's front door.

"It was unbelievable when I later found out the tourists owned a chocolate factory in Sweden and were interested in our cocoa produce," said Tevita.

"I gave them a tour around the farm and demonstrated our way of processing cocoa beans," he said.

He said the couple were amazed with the old system used by farmers and offered to donate machines that could extract cocoa liquid for the production of chocolates.

Tevita says bumping into the couple from Sweden was sheer luck and it was even more interesting that the Fiji flag was the root cause of it.

He said the project to build a factory in Korovou has the full support of the Tailevu Provincial Council.

At a recent meeting, council chairman Josefa Serulagilagi who is also the chairman for the Tailevu Cocoa Growers and Producers Association, said the couple were from the Cocoa Bello of Sweden organisation and had advised villagers not to sell cocoa seeds but to make chocolates here in Fiji.

Mr Serulagilagi said Tailevu cocoa businesses have been running for the past 20 years and the couple's guidance was of great assistance to the Tailevu framers.

He said the couple sent experts after returning to Sweden to conduct a two-week training workshop at Namau and also invited eight participants including himself to Sweden for a two-week educational tour.

The objective, he said, was to see and learn how the finest chocolates in the world were produced and to expand their knowledge about manufacturing chocolates.

Mr Serulagilagi said the trip was sponsored by Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

He said there was even an organisation in Sweden that was willing to fund the establishment of the fist ever chocolate factory at Korovou town.

Rounds Dynasty Reunion 2007

Rounds near and far unite at family reunion

Monday, December 17, 2007 -

Members of the Rounds family, one of more prominent Part European dynasties in Fiji, converged to says goodbye at Lomary yesterday the last day of the first reunion the clan has seen since their first descendent arrived in the country 157 years ago.

Family members from around the world have mingled since last week at Sigasiganilaca in Serua, were their patriarch laid his roots.

"We came here to honour the past, appreciate the present and prepare for the future,'' said Captain John Rounds, a member of the newly formed Rounds Family Association.

Mr Rounds said apart from remembering their ancestors, it was also time to "seek forgiveness among each other for any past differences that may have caused friction".

"We also had the opportunity to discuss future management of land and other resources in the Rounds family name in Fiji and begin work on a database of family members and the various professional skills they have to offer," he said.

Family historian, Dennis Rounds, said their descendent, Charles Rounds I, originated from Essex in England, but later moved to Massachusetts in the United States before arriving in Fiji during the 1850s. The family patriarch eventually had eleven children from Francis Pickering, seven of whom survived, all sons, to eventually raise families of their own in various parts of the country, particularly Sigatoka and Lautoka.

Close to 400 people who met at Sigasiganilaca are direct descendants of those family streams while about 200 more who turned up at the re-union, are related through marriage.

The late politician, Bruce Rounds and current interim minister, Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau, renown local architect, John Rounds, an architect who designed the Suva City Council Car Park and Handicraft Centre and Captain John Rounds, currently acting deputy secretary for Transport are some members of the family who have rose to prominence.

The family is also musically talented boasting international jazz singer Michelle Rounds and guitarist Victor Rounds, who could not make the reunion because of his tour commitments with US Grammy Award wining singer Lionel Ritchie. The Serua settlement is where the original Rounds head laid his roots and was buried in the 1880s, and was fittingly chosen for the reunion.

"We thought of letting the world know that the place exists and that the Rounds are very much a part of it,'' said Gordon Rounds, 67, of Sydney.

The family intends to record its history in Fiji through the future publication of a Rounds Family Tree booklet which will not only be a record of family members, but an insight into the various personalities.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Take the money, give us our land

Last updated 12/17/2007

Twelve of the sixteen tokatokas (clans) of Sanasana Village which own the proposed multi-million-dollar Natadola golf project have refused to take thousands of dollars in lease money paid to them by Native Land Trust Board officials.
The landowners refused to accept the payment from NLTB officials on Friday, saying they were unaware of a lease for Natadola, which is being developed for a world-class golf course resort.
Sanasana Village development committee chairman Korowaiwai Jonetani Doro, a member of the tokatoka Koroiwaiwai, said NLTB officials told villagers that the money was for the new lease.
He said they were shocked by the payment because they had not agreed to one.
“How can we receive lease money on something we are not aware of?” said Mr Doro.
“We told the NLTB officials money is not a priority to us, we need our land for the benefit of our younger generations.”
The total area to be leased out is 1171.24 acres of land, he said.
“If the land is leased, what will our future generations use for farming and other developments. Take your money and give us back our land,” he said, referring to NLTB.
Mr Doro said landowners realised the importance of land and any dealing in relation to it would have to go through them.
“Even though the NLTB has the right to administer our lands as stipulated in the Native Land Trust Act, it should at least consult us,” he said.
“No consultation was done on the issuance of lease by NLTB and we don't know who the new lessee is.”
Mr Doro said the subject land was leased by Natadola Land Holding (owned in partnership of the Fiji National Provident Fund and Hotel Pacific Property). He was informed by NLTB that the lease was terminated.
“NLTB told us that the money that was supposed to be distributed was for the new lease they have issued on this same land whose lease was terminated,” said Mr Doro."They said this money was paid by the four contractors who are working on the land.
"We (landowners) don't know who the four contractors are and how much they were supposed to pay."
Mr Doro said anything to do with the issuance of the new lease the NLTB had to go through their lawyer, Tupou Draunidalo.

Mataca stresses religious unity

Last updated 12/17/2007

The Catholic Church promotes the unity of mankind, said Archbishop Petero Mataca at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Convention at the weekend.
Addressing the subject on unity of mankind from the Christian perspective, Archbishop Mataca said the Catholic Church was promoting the unity of mankind through the restoration of unity among all Christians and giving deeper study to the Catholic Church and its relationships with other non-Christian religions.
An example, he stressed, was the 1962 Pope John XXIII established secretariat for promoting Christian unity also known as Ecumenism.
“Not in order to build a super-church but to accept the fact that they are members of one family and God is their common Father,” said Archbishop Mataca.
“The dialogue, it is hoped, will promote the growth of brotherhood and sisterhood. At present a number of dialogues are going on. They are Anglican and Catholic, Methodist and Catholic, Lutheran and Catholic, to name but three.”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tailevu Districts Differ on Illegal Charter View

Fiji Times - Thursday, December 13, 2007

THE Tailevu Provincial Council yesterday agreed to submit the individual submissions of tikina on the People's Charter to the Prime Minister's Office.
This was decided amid mixed signals on whether the charter was supported by most tikina in the province.
Council chairman Josefa Serulagilagi said while the many of the 22 tikina in the province were behind the charter, it was agreed to send the views of tikina individually, rather than in a collective statement.
"Because of the wide consultation work done by the government, it was thought best that it be done this way. In this way all the tikina views will be heard,'' said Josefa. "We want to collate all the written submissions and send them to the Prime Minister's office.''
Josefa said provincial officials who visited various tikina in Tailevu concluded that most of them supported the charter but some in the council chose to disagree.
"Most of us do not support it,'' said Tui Nawainovo Ratu Filimone Verebalavu.
Ratu Filimone said Josefa was just trying to push forward with his own views on the issue by saying that support for the charter from the tikina of Tailevu was unanimous.

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    Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    Restorative Justice Good for Fiji

    Restorative justice ‘a healing process’

    Last updated 12/5/2007 -
    The community plays a large part in dispute resolution and in fact is central to many of the local dispute mechanisms, says Bua Provincial Council chairman and former GCC member, Ratu Filimoni Ralogaivau.
    Ratu Filimoni said the community acts a monitor and arbitrator, providing an arena for private feelings to be vented in a public manner and acting as a safety measure and a sanctioning device to the confronting parties.
    “There are a number of traditional dispute settlement mechanisms that have
    existed in the Pacific societies for a very long time. Some follow simple forms of apology where minor disputes are settled informally between families,” said Ratu Filimoni.
    Whilst others take on a structured court like process with a formal assembly of disputants and community members presided over by a designated person or group of persons who act on behalf of the community, said Ratu Filimoni. He said restorative justice brings victims and offenders together in a safe and structured manner before the sentence was imposed.
    “Principles of restorative justice operate on the basis that offending behaviour may be prevented in the future if the offender is aware of the consequences of their actions and the harm caused.”

    Tax privileges

    Letter to Editor -, 5 Dec 2007

    Dividends from Fijian Holdings Unit Trust

    A lot have been said and published in the media recently about tax privileges to Fijian Holdings Limited and Fijian Holdings Unit Trust. It is unfortunate that FHL and Fijian Holdings Unit Trust had been singled out, although the removal of tax exemption announced in the 2008 Budget Address was applicable only to the Unit Trust of Fiji. I therefore offer the following for the purpose of clarification.

    Fijian Holdings Unit Trust was established in April 2001 to provide another investment opportunity to the growing investor communities in Fiji. It is open to all communities in the country and because of its low-entry level and competitive return it has become very popular particularly to our rural-based investors.

    To imply that the tax exemption was enjoyed only by FHL shareholders and unit-holders of Fijian Holdings Unit Trust is a mis-statement. The fact is, all dividends paid out by the 16 companies listed on the stock exchange (and FHL is only one of them) are exempt from tax because the income has been subject to tax at the company level.

    Similarly all unit-holders in the Unit Trust of Fiji, Colonial State Funds and the Fijian Holdings Unit Trust are enjoying the same privileges. These measures were part of the Government's policy to grow the capital markets in Fiji, which is consistent with measures taken in other developed markets. Funds under management in these locally-registered unit trusts have grown from over $60million in 2001 to close to $180million at end of 2006. Unit-holders in the Fijian Holdings Unit Trust only account for 21 per cent of the total 14,000 unit-holders in all the unit trusts in Fiji who enjoy such privileges.

    Information with regard to dividend paid to the shareholders of FHL is available for public record at the Companies Office. Suffice to say that the company pays dividend at a rate of 20 cents per shares for A-class shareholders and 10 cents per share for B-class shareholders.

    In conclusion, FHL and Fijian Holdings Unit Trust reiterate that their affairs are being conducted in accordance with law and for the benefit of their members. The companies will pursue legitimate commercial goals, and will continue to support the enhancement of the nation's economic stability in Fiji.

    Jaoji Koroi
    CEO - Fijian Holdings Trust Management Limited

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Fijian Affairs Downgraded

    Fijian Affairs surprise

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    IN a surprise move, the interim Government has downgraded the Ministry of Fijian Affairs to department level.

    Interim Fijian Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau declined to comment on the development.

    The Budget Estimates index said the ministry was now a Department of Indigenous Affairs, Provincial Development and Multi-Ethnic Affairs while Page 46 of the publication referred to the entity as a ministry.

    It is understood the department will now come under the Office of the interim Prime Minister.

    The Fijian Affairs Ministry was responsible for the preservation of the different cultures in Fiji, lease and land administration, education assistance and rural development.

    The ministry was also responsible for the Native Land Trust Board and the Great Council of Chiefs two institutions under close scrutiny by the interim administration. Both have undergone extensive reviews.

    It is understood that the restructure of the ministry is in line with the Cabinet reshuffle interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will announce in a week's time.

    The confusion was also evident in the Budget Estimates book, with Pages 44 to 45 of the book empty, with the heading 'Refer to Page 24 and 25 for Public Enterprise Reform', as last minute changes were made late last night to some aspects of the restructure and reshuffle.

    Once the change is implemented, Commodore Bainimarama will take on the responsibility of implementing a People's Charter which has an allocation of $4.6million. This will also include the Department of Information, which was also downgraded in the new Budget.

    The Ministry of Industrial Relations, Employment, Youth and Sports has also been merged with Youth and Sports.

    The Ministry of Agriculture has become the Ministry of Primary Industries and has merged with the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests.

    The Ministry of Works has merged with Transport and Energy. The ministry was allocated $251million compared to $235million in the 2007 revised Budget.

    The Ministry of Tourism has merged with Trade, Industry and Communication. The Ministry of Public Enterprise and the Public Service Commission will also come under the ambit of the interim Prime Minister's Office.

    The Attorney General's office and the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Sugar remain the same.

    Illegal Regime's Budget 2008

    The ups and downs of State expenditure

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    THE State has announced a $1.52billion Budget with $1.2billion to be spent mostly on wages. Capital expenditure will take up $269million.

    Allocations by department were:

    -Office of the President, $1.56million (compared to $1.6million this year); Prime Minister's Office and People's Charter for Change, $5.14m ($5.64m for 2007);

    -Public Service Commission and Public Enterprise, $13.7m ($13.9m);

    -Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Sugar Industry, $90.24m ($104.3m);

    -Ministry (Department) of Provincial Development, Indigenous and Multi-Ethnic Affairs, $45.9m ($47.2m);

    -Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration, $5.3m ($5.4m);

    -Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Co-operation and Civil Aviation, $20.94m ($21.13m);

    -Office of the Auditor General, $3.17m ($2.81m);

    -Elections Office, $4.24m ($707,000);

    -Judiciary, $12.38m ($12.11m);

    -Legislature, $1.01m ($1.48m);

    -Office of the Ombudsman, $1.47m ($1.42m);

    -Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, $4.6m ($3.89m);

    -Ministry of Justice, $2.01m ($2.12m);

    -Fiji Prisons Service, $13.7m ($13.5m);

    -Department of Information, $4.42m ($6.5m);

    -Fiji Military Forces, $81.5m ($80.7m);

    -Fiji Police Force, $70.53m ($69m);

    -Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, $25.5m ($26.1m);

    -Ministry of Health, $139.5m ($150.8m);

    -Department of Local Government and Urban Development, $3.52m ($3.96m);

    -Ministry of Housing Women and Social Welfare, $32.2m ($29.2m);

    -Ministry of Industrial Relations, Employment Youth and Sport, $12.43m ($13.32m);

    -Ministry of Primary Industries, $58.7m ($62m);

    -Ministry of Lands, Mineral Resources and Environment, $40.75m ($47.9m);

    -Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Trade and Communications, $31.27m ($30.6m);

    -Ministry of Transport, Works and Energy, $251.1m ($235.6m).

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    No charter yet, says Chand

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    A PEOPLE'S Charter has not been formulated yet because all there is so far is a proposal to develop a charter, says permanent secretary to the Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand.

    He said that in that regard, there was an extensive awareness and consultation campaign under way.

    "Its objective is to explain to ordinary people the processes, the steps and the deliberations which will take place," Mr Chand said.

    He said these changes would help develop a People's Charter for change and Progress over a period of 12-14 months.

    "The Office of the Prime Minister therefore encourages members of the public and relevant stakeholders to express their views and to be part of the process to develop the charter," he said.

    Mr Chand was reacting to comments made by Rewa one of the three largest provinces rejecting the proposed People's Charter for Building a Better Fiji. The province said it disagreed with efforts to ignore the existence of indigenous Fijians.

    Ro Dona Takalaiyale, the leader of the Sauturaga clan and spokesman of the Rewa Bose Vanua, issued Rewa's position in a statement last week.

    Ro Dona described the charter as "a creation of non-racial Fiji and written by two foreigners without input from Fijians or their elected representatives".

    He also voiced concern about interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's statements about his desire to abolish all communal seats through the People's Charter.

    "Also Lt-Col Mataitoga's statement that Affirmative Action will be abolished under the charter. Also the charter is inconsistent with the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People's Article 3-5 where indigenous people are entitled to participate in the political life of the state," Ro Dona said.

    "It is inconsistent with the 1997 Constitution where race is recognised as an integral element of the nation of Fiji."

    Ro Dona said the Bose Vanua resolved to boycott any referendum or election that would be influenced by the charter.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Prisons system faces review

    ROBERT MATAU - Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Fiji's prisons are overcrowded, a recent study featured last week in this column said.

    The study warned if the overcrowding and the lack of staff and resources were not addressed the system could breakdown.

    One of the areas looked at in the report, compiled by the Australia-Fiji Community Justice Sector program in March, 2006, was how a problem solving court would be developed and shortly be piloted in selected areas.

    It adds a customary and traditional flavour to the sentencing of Fijian people in an alternative disciplinary measure more understanding of their culture.

    "The aim of this new style of court is to identify and address the problems that are causing offending behaviour and to treat the cause so that criminal behaviour stops," the report said.

    "Called Problem Solving Courts, they are for sentencing only. That is, they are not trial courts.

    "Aimed primarily at reducing the number of young indigenous Fijians and other young people from entering the prison system unnecessarily, the court adopts approaches that are part of Fijian culture (veisorosorovi) but operate within the mainstream legal system.

    "Advisers from the communities will sit with the magistrate and advise on particular issues for the offender and suggest remedies.

    "Wherever possible, the advisers will be from the same community as the offender and will bring their connection to those communities and make the sentences imposed by the magistrate more meaningful to the offender.

    "The courts will combine punishment with help and can be the gateway to treatment and rehabilitation.

    "The courts will operate in urban and rural areas and victims will be able to put their issues before the court and be heard. Except when operating as a Juvenile Court, the court will be open and transparent to the community at large."

    The report said that in appropriate situation (e.g. village settings) the court can be much less formal than most magistrates courts.

    In that case the report said a formal court setting would not be required; the village hall could be used. "Unlike the normal court setting everyone will be allowed to speak. It may be that the chiefs or leaders from other communities will sit with the magistrate and this will assist in re-engaging approaches to traditional dispute resolution with mainstream justice," the report says.

    "It is an approach that aims to encourage respect, commitment and obligation and aims to reinforce the Fijian tradition of caring for others in the community.

    "The focus will be on diversion, treatment and rehabilitation and keeping people out of prison if this is possible and appropriate.

    "Serious offences will not be dealt with by the Problem Solving Court. Problem Solving Courts have the full support and endorsement of the Great Council of Chiefs.

    "It is generally accepted that offenders placed on properly administered community-based programs (particularly probation and community work) have a much higher rate of success than similar offenders serving short prison sentences and this presents as the most effective way of reducing the prison numbers and affords the greatest possibility of rehabilitation.

    "Although some short- term prison sentences are inevitable, the community will be better served if the majority were placed on non-custodial sentences. (Some jurisdictions have passed legislation restricting the use of short sentences in order to force courts to use community based alternatives)."

    The report said if all prisoners serving less than three months in 2005 were given community sentences instead of jail time, prison intake would have been reduced by almost 30 per cent.

    "If this were extended to sentences of less than nine months the intake would have dropped by 50 per cent without any appreciable impact on community safety," it states.

    "Through the Law and Justice Strategic Leadership Group the Ministry for Justice and the Ministry for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation (that has statutory responsibility for Probation and Community Work) have joined with the ministries of youth, employment opportunities and sport, Fijian affairs and provincial development, and other stakeholders, to develop a model system that will allow community based corrections to expand to all areas of Fiji.

    "The new model is being piloted in selected locations before its introduction to the remainder of the country.

    "Although the model will cater for all ages and races it specifically targets indigenous Fijian offenders aged 25 years and less."

    The report says increasing community based court dispositions will eventually lower the number of people entering the prison system and will allow the prison service to devote its resources to address the rehabilitation needs of longer term prisoners.

    It noted a 35 per cent increase in the number of prisoners aged 25 years or less and this group now makes up almost 50 per cent of the prison population.

    "The increase in the number of young prisoners entering the system is cause for some concern, particularly as 32 per cent were imprisoned for the first time," the report says. "Providing programs for young people in prison presents its own challenges.

    "It is known that young people are less mature and more easily influenced by their older counterparts. Prisons, particularly overcrowded ones with poor living conditions, tend to be criminogenic, that is, they are more likely to support and reinforce criminal values and lifestyles than promote personal development and rehabilitation.

    "Offenders aged 25 and under are responsible for 57 percent of all violent offences, including rape and indecent assault.

    "They are responsible for 67 per cent of all non-violent offences, and offences against property. "Without proper programs the prospect of rehabilitation for many in this group is not good."

    It noted the rise in the number of young people sentenced for sexual and other violent offences against the person was a cause for concern, particularly as there were no specialist remedial or intervention programs available in Fiji prisons for this type of offending.

    "These groups potentially pose the greatest concern to the community if their offending behaviour is perceived not to have been addressed while they are in prison," the report states.

    "However, the majority of prisoners convicted of violent offences do not fall into the ├Žextremely serious' category and programs that deal with impulse control, anger management and cognitive skill development, along with other rehabilitation and personal development programs that address the causes of offending, are possible to be delivered and would maximises the chances of offenders' successful integration into the community.

    "In 2005 an extraordinary 67 per cent of all prisoners entered the prison system for the first time (compared to 52 per cent in 2002). Figures for both years are extremely high and suggest major issues in sentencing practices and highlight the need for more suitable non-custodial sentencing options."

    For now these recommendations and conclusions hold a way out for our prisons system — ultimately at the tail end of the criminal justice system.

    Whether there is a will to carry out the changes and recommendations will be a matter for the policy makers to decide.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    The pleasure of feeding the multitudes

    Workers at the Walu Bay industrial division knows there is only one place they can turn to when it comes to lunch time.
    It has become their favourite eating place simply because for a few dollars they can eat as much as can.
    For Miriama Tuinadamu, providing food for these industrial workers has been one of the satisfying experiences she has ever had.
    “Even though it may be satisfying, it also has its good and bad days. It’s not an easy work but once you learn to get by everyday, you will get use to it,” said Mrs Tuinadamu.
    She sells varieties of dishes ranging from meaty bones, pork curry and boil fish in lolo (coconut cream).
    Just hearing the variety of dishes she sells and how they are presented with will make one’s stomach (especially those with no money) rumble in emptiness.
    The Mualevu woman from Vanuabalavu in Lau wakes up at 3am to start preparing the food that she would sell on the day.
    “I have a gas and kerosene stove, which I just turned on every morning at three because I have varieties of dishes to cook.”
    But she is fortunate that her husband always helps her before he goes to work at seven in the morning.
    “I’m lucky that I have a good husband who can also cook. He can also make roti and bake much better buns than me.”
    At 5.30am when most people are still tucked in bed she is already pouring out tea for dock workers who usually miss breakfast so that they could make it to work on time.
    “Here, there are four eating sessions, there is tea at 5.30am for those who comes early to work, and morning tea at 10.30am and lunch is at noon. The last tea session is at three where many would come in for a quick tea break before going back to work.”
    Even when you a 10minutes late during lunch time, you would be lucky if you could find a table to sit down on or if there are still some food left.
    “Food really flies here because we cater for customers who really have big appetites due to the hard work they do.
    “I usually cook enough to sell for the day and sometimes food that I bring disappears from my table well before noon.”
    She said that Fridays are usually busy especially when it comes to the pay week.
    The dinning hall has a separate room for cooking and each lady who sells there pays $30 a month to the Public Works Department for rent.
    “We are always making new friends here everyday and each day we could earn a minimum of $70 and sometimes we earn more than $100.”
    Making that much money and having fun everyday at work is what the women at the PWD dinning hall enjoy most everyday.
    For Mrs Tuinadamu she said that the kind of work she does is one of the employment opportunities that youths nowadays are ignoring.
    “Especially for Fijian youths they don’t see the joy and the benefits of doing simple things. Look at our Indian friends they would jump to any opportunities such as this if they see the benefits they get out of it,” she said.
    She is calling upon young people to take up any employment opportunity that comes up in life.
    “Many young people are always afraid but most tend to shy away from this kind of job because of pride. People with those attitudes should know that pride won’t get you anywhere.”
    With many opportunities that would come along the way, Mrs Tuinadamu said that she would not prefer anything else than from what she is doing at the moment.
    “I love to listen to all sorts of stories brought in by the different people and getting compliments about the food from my customers is indeed a blessing,” added Tuinadamu.

    Miliana: Relationships matter

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Having 95-year-old Miliana Qica around has been good for villagers of Nabavatu in Macuata.

    She guides villagers through difficult situations especially when it comes to differences among them.

    The villagers have used her words of wisdom as a pillar of strength to maintain healthy and long lasting relationships.

    "I believe that whatever the situation we face in the village, we must always remember that at the end of the day, it is our relationship that matters especially when we are all related," Mrs. Qica said.

    "It won't be a healthy environment to live in a village where there is a lot of hatred and no care for each other. As a family we should love one another and take good care for each other."

    Mrs. Qica who has eight children, is originally of Batiri Village in Cakaudrove and married Orisi Sokonivatu who hails from Nabavatu which is an hours drive south-west of Labasa.

    Although she does not remember the year she got married and settled at the village, there is one thing she clearly remembers and that is not regretting marrying a man from Nabavatu because as she puts it: "They are the best kind of men in Fiji."

    With a smile on her face, Mrs. Qica added: "That's why I am still alive and healthy at the age of 95, because my husband and children have looked after me well, even though my husband has gone first from this world."

    Mrs. Qica is known for being independent. She washes her own clothes, bathes herself, cooks family meals and cleans the house.

    "I am fit and can still walk around and do things on my own so every time I just do my own things like wash my own clothes and cook food.

    "I scrape the coconuts, clean the fish, pick bele leaves from the nearby plantation and peel cassava and I enjoy it because it's healthy and helps keep me fit," Mrs. Qica said.

    And when her children and grandchildren take her clothes first to the laundry to have it washed, Mrs. Qica will go to the laundry and collect her clothes.

    "They use the washing machine which I don't like because it doesn't wash the clothes properly but just spins around all the time so I wash my own clothes.

    "After I wash my clothes then I hang it out in the sun and I enjoy doing it but I will never allow for my clothes to be washed by anyone else or in the machine," Mrs. Qica said.

    She has 45 grandchildren and 50 great grandchildren and as part of her leisure time, she makes sure that she spends an hour or two of a day with them.

    "Seeing my great grandchildren is indeed a blessing and I have been blessed by God to be alive at the age of 95 and still fit and healthy to do work around the house," Mrs. Qica said.

    Weaving mats is another favourite activity she does at home.

    "I only weave mats for my children, grandchildren and relatives who have functions to attend or for special occasions.

    "I don't weave mats for people who order because it's not easy to weave so many mats especially at this age so that is why I just weave for my family," Mrs. Qica said

    Too much talking - Fijian Chiefly Title Disputes

    Letter to Fiji Times Editor by: Morgan Tuimalealiifano Suva

    IT is clear from NLC chairman Ratu Viliame Tagivetauas response (FT 12/10) that his unit is frustrated and is clearly unable to cope with the vast number of yavusa and mataqali title disputes.

    His almost pathetic response on the Buli Raviravi title dispute (FT 13/10) is made all the more interesting given the fact that he himself, of noble rank, hails from Bua, and holds the extremely influential position of chair of the Native Lands and Fisheries Commission, as well is wielding influence in the Bua Provincial Council.

    In the eyes of many indigenous Fijians, senior NLTB officers like Ratu Viliame are like God because they hold the key over life and death and because they have access to the machinery deciding yavusa and mataqali titles disputes.

    For non-Fijians, these issues should be of interest because such titles control rights to vast resource areas such as land, forest, and sea.

    The Buli Raviravi title according to the son of the deceased claimant, Jale Cavu, has been under dispute for 20 years. That is almost half a lifetime.

    Ratu Viliames defence against the complaints from the distraught family is to talk it over.

    Twenty years of talking has resulted in the death of an elderly man and a few in hospitals.

    How many more years of talking are required?

    Surely, the State, and particularly NLFC, has a role to play when families in the nature of things are struggling within themselves to find an amicable way forward.

    Another family has been talking for 20 years.

    The Tui Kaba, clan of Bau, has been talking about a successor to the Vunivalu na Tui Kaba title since 1989 and look at what has been coming out of Tailevu since 2000?

    How much longer must those talks be expected to continue before another tragedy strikes innocent family members?

    The same question could be stated 3764 times.

    Pride is one thing.

    But the message from the Nabouwalu incident is point blank clear families are crying for and need help, urgently?

    Not for more foreign tax payers money or more human rights or another election.

    When 3766 yavusa and mataqali families are hurting and stressed from inside out, what does that mean for beloved Fiji?

    Cry, for the beloved country, then wipe those tears, and do something on this vital indigenous issue, (including lawyers, economists and accountants).

    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    Questions remain: Gavidi

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    MEMBERS of the public are still waiting for answers behind the December 5, 2006 takeover, says Viti Landowners and Resources Association president Ratu Osea Gavidi.

    He said it was one of the reasons many have questioned the motive behind the interim regime's establishment of the People's Charter.

    Ratu Osea said the interim Governments after the 1987 and 2000 coups gave grants for the establishment of the Fijian Holdings as well as the affirmative actions programs because instigators claimed the takeovers were to safeguard Fijian interests.

    "In this case no one seems to know the reason for the coup and suddenly the interim regime sets up a People's Charter which is not justified," he said.

    Ratu Osea said this was a dangerous trend because indigenous institutions were still trying to correct past wrongs like how indigenous land was converted to freehold and suddenly the Charter ropes in issues related to setting a platform for a level playing field.

    "It doesn't make sense and will certainly not work," he said.

    Ratu Osea said some issues related to the Deed of Cession in 1874 which included Fiji remaining a Christian state and the qoliqoli belonging to indigenous Fijians were yet to be addressed as well.

    He said the state ownership of land like what was done in countries like Russia and China was a dangerous trend to encourage here as such issues were dear to Fijians and sensitive to discuss.

    "To have land mentioned in the charter is insensitive because it is owned by the indigenous people yet they were not part of consultations," he said.

    Ratu Osea said the interim regime needed to first establish and tell the people the reason behind the coup and their motives before establishing a charter.

    He urged Christians to pray for the nation as more trying times were ahead.

    Ratu Osea said the interim Government should concentrate on bread-and-butter issues and matters that united the country.

    "At this time bringing up sensitive issues would only further divide us setting a dangerous trend and could be a recipe for trouble," he said.

    The interim regime launched the charter and a council to oversee its development chaired by the Archbishop Petero Mataca and interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama last week.

    They have decided there would be six national task teams to look at specific areas to accomplish the overarching goal of good governance, the economy, reform of the public service, financial institutions, land as well as its utilisation.

    Monday, October 8, 2007

    Indigenous Pacific anomalies - 5-Oct-2007

    THERE is much in the Report of the Human Rights Council’s ‘Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ tabled as agenda item 68 during the 61st session of the General Assembly of the UN just last month.

    For example, Article 2 notes that ‘Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity’. Lovely.

    Articles 3 and 4 express the conviction that ‘Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination’ and ‘in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions’. Marvellous.

    Article 5 of the declaration states that ‘Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State’. Article 6 further reinforces the place of indigenous peoples in the modern state when it declares that ‘Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality’. Beautiful.

    Article 7 (2) protects indigenous peoples by granting them ‘the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group’. Reinforcing the point, Article 8 of the draft notes that ‘Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture’ and that ‘States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities; (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources; (c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights; (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration; (e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them’. Powerful.

    Article 9 addresses cultural maintenance in that ‘Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned’ and ‘No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right’, while Article 10 affirms spatial integrity in that ‘Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories’ and that ‘No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return’. Whew.

    Article 11 says further that ‘Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalise their cultural traditions and customs’ and Article 12 specifies in this regard that ‘Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practice, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites’ and ‘the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects’. Magnificent.

    And these are just some of the provisions expressed in the declaration aimed at protecting the thousands of tribal peoples who form the world’s least powerful minorities. And given all the advocacy of the welfare of Aboriginal Australians and of Maori New Zealanders and of Inuit Canadians that we have heard respectively from the governments of these great Commonwealth nations, it is curious that none of them voted in support of the declaration. Why not?

    Thursday, October 4, 2007

    The Proper Role of the GCC

    October 4th, 2007 by solivakasama

    The Press Release given by Interim Minister Epeli Ganilau dated 08/08/07 regarding the purpose of the GCC is factually flawed and misleading.

    In essence, he interprets the main purpose of the GCC’s existence is to support government because it is an arm of government.

    Whilst it is not disputed that it is an arm of government, the GCC will co-operate with government so long as they share common interests. The GCC is a creature of statute (section 3(1) Fijian Affairs Act [Cap 120]), but to claim that it exists to support government is not only highly offensive, but clearly shows Minister Ganilau’s utter failure in understanding the unique role the GCC plays in nation building, which may at times diametrically oppose government policy.

    It was never the intention of the legislators when it introduced the Fijian Affairs Bill for the GCC to be a rubber stamp to government. The legislators foresaw the GCC to be a pro-active body working for the benefit of the Fijian people. To illustrate my point, its duties are contained in section 3(2) of the Fijian Affairs Act [Cap120], which reads:

    ‘It shall be the duty of the Council; in addition to any powers especially conferred upon it to submit to the Governor General (President) such recommendations and proposals as it may deem to be fit for the Fijian people and to consider such questions relating to the good government and well being of the Fijian people as the Governor General (President) or Board from time to time submit to the Council, and to take decisions or make recommendation thereon.’

    To further prove my point, section 185(1)(k) of the Constitution, headed Chapter 13 ‘GROUP RIGHTS’ and ‘Alteration of certain Acts’ clearly states that any Bill that seeks to alter the following Acts namely; Fijian Affairs Act; Fijian Development Fund Act; Native Lands Act; Native Lands Trust Act; Rotuma Act, Rotuman Lands Act; Banaban Lands Act & Banaban Settlement Act cannot be passed by simple majority as in relation to other acts. It specifically requires that any Bill to alter the abovementioned Acts shall not be deemed to have passed the Senate unless it is supported by 9 of the 14 members of the Senate appointed under section 64(1)(a). Section 64(1)(a) reads:

    ‘(1) The Senate consists of 32 members of whom: (a) 14 are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Bose Levu Vakaturaga (GCC).’

    In other words, matters of great importance pertaining to Fijians, Rotumans or Banabans are not entrusted to government, but to the GCC. Its 75% approval is needed in the Senate before any Bill to alter any of the already mentioned Acts can be passed.

    I therefore rest my case that the GCC was never meant to exist only to support government. In passing and for Minister Ganilau’s information, the GCC acted correctly and legally when it rejected President Iloilo’s nominee of Interim Minister Nailatikau for Vice President. To try and reconstitute a GCC that will be a pawn of the IG is short-sighted and reckless bordering on genocide and should be vehemently opposed by all 14 Provincial Councils because it has the potential of exposing the Fijian, Rotuman and Banaban peoples to external forces well beyond their control spelling their doom.

    Tui Savu,Townsville.AUSTRALIA.

    The problem with a reconstituted GCC

    October 4th, 2007 by solivakasama

    The Press Release given by Interim Minister Epeli Ganilau dated 08/08/07 regarding the purpose of the GCC is legally flawed and erroneous.

    It is curious that his Press release posted in the Fiji Government Online page on Wednesday has already been removed.

    He erred when he summarised the purpose of the GCC in his Press Release as:

    ‘Therefore, what this means in very simple terms is that: (1) the GCC is an arm of government, (2) it exists to support government & (3) government is empowered under the law (Cap 120 Fijian Affairs Act) to regulate its operations to ensure that (1) & (2) maintained at all times.’

    Whilst (1) is not disputed that the GCC is an arm of government, to claim it solely exists to support government (2) and that government is empowered to ensure that GCC does support the government is erroneous and misleading.

    Furthermore, Minister Ganilau’s desire to add via regulation the taking of oaths and disciplinary measures is wholly dependent on his legal capacity. For instance, the reason why the GCC rejected President Iloilo’s nominee of Interim Foreign Minister Nailatikau for VP is because the GCC realised that if it approved President Iloilo’s nominee it would amount to the GCC condoning the illegal takeover and its illegal Regime.

    Minister Ganilau’s further intention to insert disciplinary measures to ensure there is no repeat of the above is tantamount to altering the Fijian Affairs Act, which cannot be done via regulation. This means that even if Minister Ganilau has legal capacity to make regulation, he still needs Parliament and the approval of 9 of the 14 Senate Members of the GCC as defined in section 185(k) of the Constitution to amend the Act.

    The reason Parliament only can pass the amendment pursuant to section 185(k) of the Constitution is because it was never the intention of the legislators to entrust all things Fijian to the government of the day. It was foreseeable that since Fiji was moving towards a democratic system of government, the possibility exists that one day a non-Fijian led government will govern. This happened in 1999 with the Chaudary government and there is no legal impedient to prevent further non-Fijian led governments in the future. It would be also natural for non-Fijian led governments to pursue policies in line with its manifesto, but opposed by the Fijians and the GCC. For instance, a non-led Fijian government wanting to abolish the NLTB, GCC, etc and free up native lands in Fiji would face objection from the GCC; hence the Fijians interest is protected by section 185(k) of the Constitution. This protection also applies to future Fijian led governments who may want to abolish the NLTB, GCC, etc and free up native lands for sale as well, so the GCC is indeed the depository of Fijian interests and not the government of the day.

    To accept what Minister Ganilau is proposing needs to be carefully scrutinised by all 14 Provincial Councils because if it is to take away the independent decision making of the GCC and be a rubber stamp of the government of the day, then it should be rejected outright because it would be tantamount to selling our birthright and genocide of the Fijian race. I counsel the GCC to work together, carefully scrutinize the proposed changes carefully & test the legal capacity of Minister Ganilau first before considering its intended course of action.


    Tui Savu.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    Fijian Affairs History


    Na noda veigauna e vakamacalataki kina na veika e yaco ena drau se sagavulu na yabaki sa oti. Na veika e yaco e vakatabakidua ga ena vula e vakamatata tiko e cake. E ituvatuva vinaka meda railseu ka da dikeva na veika a yaco ena gauna makawa. Ni wiliwili sara.

    1/4/1886 Labati o Sitiveni Buli Bureta. Oqo dua na kisi rogo ena kena gauna. Eratou qai veilewaitaki kina ena Julai o Maciu, kune ni a dau vakadraudrau. Veivuke ena laba o Jona. Eratou beitaki tale ga kina o Waisile, Josaia, Sitivano, Savirio, Basilio, Mosese kei Vesisio ni ratou a vunitaka na yagonimate e veivico. Nmt 10/86

    2/4/1922 Bale na isevu ni turaga evikavo e Viti, o Vitale. Na turaga ni Varanise qo a lesi me imatai ni turaga evikavo, oya na iliuliu ni lotu Katolika e Viti kei Rotuma. A mai yabaki 20 vakacaca nona veiqaravi tiko qai mani bale ena ika2 ni Epereli 1922. Na kena ibulubulu na vale vulavula ena yasa ni gaunisala i Cawaci.

    3/4/1854 Lotu o Cakobau.

    5/4/1848 Vakilai e Lau na cagilaba. Ena siga tarava, 6/4/48, sa bale kina na vale nei Misi Wiliame na italatala mai Bua lomanikoro.

    5/4/1988 Buli o Ratu Penaia me Tui Cakau.

    6/4/1843 Kabai Suva o Rewa. Qo e vu mai na vuaka levu nei Rokotui Suva a via kovea o Ro Qaraniqio, na taci Ro Kania na Rokotui Dreketi. Eratou cemuri kina na ilala nei Ro Qaraniqio, qai lesu mai sa vakacibi ivalu.

    Lesu iCake

    7/4/1855 Yaco kina na ivalu vakairogorogo mai na ucui Kaba. Na ivalu oqo e rawa ni kainaki ni iotioti ni ivalu levu ni lotu e Viti. Rau to kina ni lotu na turaga na Vunivalu o Cakobau kei na turaga na Tui Toga. Dua tale na ito o ira na turaga ni Rewa kei ira na turaga ni Bau era vorata tiko na lotu, wili kina o Kamisese Mara se o Ratu Mara, na luvei Vuibureta na taci Tanoa, koya erau veitacini kina kei Seru Cakobau. Era kurabui ena matakalailai ni sa cabe mai na mataivalu ni Toga era mani vakavuai kina o ira na vakatawana tiko na koronivalu mai Kaba. Era dau kaya na kenadau ni ivalu mai Kaba sa qai dei kina na mua ni veivakalotutaki ena noda vanua, ni sa qaqa kina na lotu.

    8/4/1793 Na isevu ni kai Viti me droinitaki na matana. Sega ni droinitaki e Viti, droinitaki mai Toga. E dua na turaga ni Varanise na yacana o Labillardiere ena yabaki 1793 a tiko voli mai Toga qai sota kei na dua vei ira na ibinibini turaga ni Viti era tu mai Toga ena gauna oya. E sega ni kilai se turaga sara ni vei, ia mani droinitaki qai volai na yacana me o Vuas_s_. Na droini oya e maroroi tiko ga mai Parisi me yacova na siga nikua.

    9/4/1843 Moku na vo ni kai Suva mai Nauluvatu, rauta beka e 400, vakalevu na katikati, ni sa ciqomi oti nodra isoro. Se vakavuai nodra koro o Suva, koya sa banisenikau nikua, ena 6/4.

    9/4/1902 Yaco mai na wanivosavosa.

    10/4/1905 Bose vakaturaga e Suva.

    12/4/1840 Vakayacori na imatai ni lotu ena yanuyanu turaga o Bau. Me vaka ni sega ni vakadonui me tiko na italatala mai Bau ena gauna oya, a vakaitikotiko o Misi Korosi mai Viwa. A kerekere vua na Vunivalu me vakayacori e dua na lotu, sa vakadonui. A caka na lotu ena dua ga na vanua e rara. A caka ena vosa vakaToga, baleta se sega ni dua na itaukei sa lotu, se o ira ga na kai Toga. Ia e le levu na itaukei era tiko kina, mera raica se ka vakacava sara mada na ka vou se qai taka tiko mai, na lotu. Na lewe ni ivavakoso e le 300, kai Toga kei na itaukei.

    12/4/1875 Tekivu na ivalu mai na colo kei Vitilevu. Qo e nanumi ni vu mai na misila levu a taka ena noda vanua, era qai nanuma na lewenivanua ena colo kei Vitilevu ni vu ni misila na nodra sa sega ni qaravi ira na va. Na kena ikarua ni sega ni matau vei ira mera qali, oya mera vakarorogo ina matanitu tani, me vaka na matanitu vakoloni. E levu vei ira na nodra turaga era sega ni vakadonuya me soli na nodra vanua me vakarurugi i Bolatagane. Sa mani tubu kina na ivalu. G2,59

    Lesu iCake

    13/4/1897 Bale o Gagabakola, Rokotui Serua.

    13/4/1943 Tekivu na ivalu mai Solomone.

    15/4/1897 Vakayacori na veibulu vua na turaga na Vunivalu mai Serua, na yacana o Gagabokola. Rau talai o Iliesa Rokubu na turaga na Buli Deuba vata kei Ratu Mara na taci koya na Vunivalu, me rau kauta na kena itukutuku i Draiba, na itikotiko ni matanitu itaukei e Suva. Sa qai lako na ilakolako vakaturaga, na Kovana kei ira e levu na vakailesilesi e cake ni matanitu, wili kina na turaga ni Bau o Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, na iliuliu ni mataivalu ena gauna oya. Veikidavaki mai Serua na turaga na Buli Serua o Ratu Peni Mataitini, o Ratu Nalati na Rokotui Nadroga kei Ratu Sikeli Tubailagi na Buli Komave. A qai caka lotu ni veibulu na italatala itaukei o Simione Meteka. A maroroi sara mai na kena delana. E rua tiko na delana, ia na delana e qara i Vatulele e maroroi kina na yagona. Oti oya sa qai kacivaka na isosomi ni Kovana, me vaka ni a sega tu na kovana ena gauna oya, ni na qai lesi e dua na isosomi kei Rokotui Serua ni oti na kena bose e Suva, ia me se taura tu vakawawa na turaga Buli Komave. Nanuma tiko na gauna oya a wili tiko i Serua na tikina o Komave.

    16/4/1939 Buli na isevu ni bete itaukei ni lotu Katolika, na turaga ni Nukutubu mai Rewa, o Tito Daurewa.

    17/4/1794 Kune vakadua kina o Yasawa. Da kaya ni kune vakadua qo e kune vakadua vei ira na vavalagi, sega ni o keda, o keda eda sa kunea makawa. Ia qo na nodra qai kila vakadua na turaga ni valagi ni dua na vanua o Yasawa. E dua na waqa ni Mereke na yacana na "Arthur" kena kavetani o Barber. A muri vaka mai Kadavu qai sotakaya na Yatu Yasawa, sega ni macala se o cei na yanuyanu, rairai o Naviti se o Waya, qai kele ena dua na toba levu. Ia qo se yabaki 1794. E dina ni sa raici Yasawa o Kapiteni Bligh ena nona a cemuri mai kina, ia e sega ni kila o koya se e vei na vanua e tiko kina, sa qai vakaivolataka ga o Kapiteni Barber mai Merika. Kabi mai e dua na waqaniviti, ia o ira na vodo kina sa vaka mera rere, nira se vulagitaka na waqa ni vulagi. Sa dede e ratou qai vodo mai, ia ratou leca veivoli. Levu na ka eratou matavoutaka. Eratou suka i vanua, mataka cake qai lesu mai e vica vata na waqa. Ia na waqa e lesu mai qo e vakaiyaragi tiko mai. Era wavokita na waqa era qai vanavana mai ena nodra dakaititi. Sa vakarerevaki tiko mai sa qai lewa o kavetani mera vanalaki ena dakai ni vulagi. Sega ni macala se ra mavoa se mate e vica na itaukei, sa kilai ga ni rau a mavoa e le rua vei ira na kaiwaqa, ni rau laugasau. E volai tu ena kena ivola ni waqaniviti qo e viavia 30 beka na fute na kedra balavu, oya e rauta me katu lima, 3 beka na fute na kedra raba, yadua tu na vata se rara ni cocoka. O ira na vodo kina e viavia le 8 se le 14 ra vodo ena waqa yadua. Kena ibalebale e sega s ni waqa lelevu. Ia o ira na vodo kina era tagane lelevu, kaya o Kapiteni Barber ni sega ni dua e lailai mai na 6 na fute na kena balavu, na kedra vakavakaita mera na turaga ni Yasawa ena gauna oya. Wa359 [r26/4

    18/4/1876 Bale na turaga na Tui Cakau o Ratu Golea.

    Lesu iCake

    22/4/1888 Tau mai vuravura na turaga o Ratu Sukuna, mai Bau.

    24/4/1850 Curumi na valenilotu ni lomanikoro mai Bua. Vola o Misi Wiliame na italatala ni a tara sara ga vakavanua. Na yasana e ra e nodra itavi na turaga ni Bua, Navutu, Cubui kei Vatukarakara; na yasana i cake, Tiliva kei Dama; e dua na kubu o Dalomo, dua na kubu o Tacilevu. E dina ni le levu na turaga kei na marama ni Bua era se bera tiko ni lotu, ia era le 400 na lewenilotu era tiko ena kena curumi. A vunau kina na turaga iTalatala o Misi Seleutu, o koya sara ga a vola na imatai ni ivolavosa vakaviti ena nona ilesilesi mai Nadi mai Bua. Vulagi dokai tale ga kina o na italatala o Misi Mua kei nona lewenivale. Wd102

    25/4/43 Leqa o Misi Kakili mai Vava'u, Toga Matanisiga. O Misi Kakili eda kila kece ni a vakacabe lotu mai Lakeba vata kei Misi Korosi. Eda sega soti ni dau vakananuma na yaga ni nona cakacaka e Viti me baleta na noda vosa, ni o koya ga a lewa meda vakayagataka na veimatanivola e so e kilai tani kina na noda vosa, me vaka na C na B na D na Q na G. Oya na lewa nei Misi Kakili me baleta na noda vosa me maqosa na kena volai. E le levu era sega tale ga ni kila na nona mate, e mate vakasakasaka toka mai Toga, ni a vakamatei koya ga ena gunu wainimate. Ia ena dua na vakadidike qai caka wale ga qo e nanumi tiko ni sega ni dodonu me bilitaki kina ni gauna e vakamatei koya kina e sega ni bula vinaka. A tauvi koya tiko na deqi. Eda sa qai kila tiko ena gauna qo ni dua e tauvi deqi e sega ni lewai koya vakavinaka. E sega ni kila na ka e cakava tiko. O koya gona e dodonu kina me dau vakacerecerei tiko ga na yacai Misi Kakili, veitalia ni sakasaka beka na nona mate, ena veika lelevu e cakava ena nona a tiko voli ena keda maliwa e Viti ena kaulotu kei na kena vakadeitaki na noda vosa.

    28/4/1789 Vuaviritaki na Bounty mai Tofua.

    28/4/1841 Bale mai Futuna o Santo Petero Sanele. Qo e dua na turaga bete ni Faranise, lewe ni ito i Maria, na ito ni Bete kei na Sista a tauyavu mai Varanise, e rogo ena itukutuku ni lotu Katolika ena Pasifika ni isevu ni maritire, oya e dua e mate ena vuku ni lotu, me vakataki Misi Beka e Viti, a mate ena nona via veivakalotutaki mai na colo kei Vitilevu. Na kena italanoa ni a sega ni mani veimaliwai vinaka kei ira na lewenivanua mai Futuna, se vakabibi kei ira na yavusa turaga, qai mokuti koya e dua na luve ni turaga na yacana o Musumusu, lau ga vakadua na matau ena nona vanuaicake, sa bale na turagabete. Na kena vinaka ni a yaco me vaka na kena ivosavosa: 'Na dra ni maritire na ivakatubu ni lotu', kena ivakadinadina ni se bera ni cava tale e dua na yabaki, era sa lotu kece na lewei Futuna.

    28/4/1846 Mate o Atai (Hatai) dua na kaulotu ni Tahiti i Oneata.

    Lesu iCake

    29/4/1914 Vakarewa na kuila ni Viti Kabani mai Draubuta. Na Viti Kabani e dua na sasaga a liutaka o Apolosi R Nawai, kena inaki me vakaitavitaki na itaukei ena bisinisi. A mani sega ni rawa vakavinaka baleta beka ni se bera na kena gauna, baleta tale beka ga ni a vakayagataka vakatani o Apolosi na nona vuku. Ena gauna qo nida saga tiko me vakaitavi ena bisinisi na itaukei, meda nanuma tale ga ni sega ni ka vou e ka makawa. M80

    30/4/1854 A qai lotu na turaga na Vunivalu mai Bau o Cakobau. Vakalailai ga sa qai yaco na iotioti ni ivalu levu e Viti, na ivalu mai Kaba. Wd116-, D111

    1/5/1838 [vola o Korosi ni 37, Ward400 & Eagleston 38] Vesu na waqa ni Peritania na Sir David Ogilby, na kena kavetani o Misi Hutchins. Oqo na kena itukutuku a vola o Misi Korosi na italatala ena yabaki vata ga:

    "Ena ika27 ni siga ni vula sa oti, a mai kele volekati Nukulau, na yanuyanu lailai 6 na maile na kena yawa e Rewa, na sukuna na Sir David Ogilby, kena kavetani o Misi Hutchins. Ni kele tiko mai Nukulau e vakadonuya mera vodo e levu na itaukei. Ia qai vakasalataka e dua na turaga ni Rewa kei na so tale mera kua ni vakavodoki vakaveitalia na itaukei ni vanuatani. Ia na levu ni vakabauti ira na itaukei e tu vei kavetani Hutchins, e wele sara kina na yalona.

    Ena Sigatabu na ika29 ratou soko i Verata, rauta ni 50 na maile yani e ke. Ratou kele e kea ena Monite, mani volia e so na vuaka kei na cava tale.

    Mataka cake na imatai ni siga ni vula o Me, sa vakarau cavu sara na ikelekele. Ena gauna oya era vodo tiko e le walusagavulu se ciwasagavulu na itaukei, qai levu tale ga era wavokita ena nodra waqa. Eratou lewe ciwa na kaiwaqa, wili kina o kavetani. A sa vakaraitaka oti tale ga na nona iyaya ni veivoli vei iratou e so na turaganivanua. Sa cavu na ikelekele, a kacivaka me vakarewa na laca. Qai mokuti koya ena iwau e dua na turaga a duri tu e dakuna mani mate sara. Ni raica na meti ni sa bale matemate o kavetani, sa cici yani me vukea. Ia sa taura e dua na itaukei na iseleiwau nei kavetani qai taya vakalima se vakaono, mani lutu matemate e delai kavetani. Era mavoa na kaiwaqa vakavo ga e dua, ena nodra saga mera biu i wai na itaukei. Ia e so na kaimua era a kaba ena ivana, ena vanua a maroroi tiko kina e dua na kisi dakai sa tawa rawa tu. Ratou vanalaki ira na itaukei. E levu era lade lesu ina nodra waqa ena domobula. Oti ratou qai kila ni sa curuma na rumu ni kavetani na turaga ga a mokuti koya. Vica vata na kaimua era vanai koya mai na doka iloilo ni rumu. E dua a mani lauta donu na utona. E viritaki i wai na turaga qo kei na rua tale, ratou mani soko yani vakatotolo. Sa qai kau na yagoi kavetani, lai bulu i Ovalau.

    Lesu iCake

    Ena ika5 ni siga, a kele tale na waqa i Nukulau. Ia e dua na tagane a vodo ni a mai kele vakadua i Rewa era sa vakamatea na itaukei ena nona lade i wai donuya sara ga na veivala e waqa. Na meti sa tu oqo e Rewa, ia e sega ni nanumi ni na bula. Na le 5 tale era mavoa sa ra na daumaka. Au sa mai rogoca ni le 3 na yalewa, na watini turaga a lauvana e waqa, eratou sa kuna mai Verata, me ratou tomani watidratou ena vanua ni yalo."

    Ni oti tale e 50 vakacaca na yabaki, ena Maji 1894, a tabaki kina ena Na Mata na ivola oqo nei "Duicaginitoba" (yacana buli):

    Ena gauna e liu, ni se lailai kina e Viti na kaivalagi, e kainaki ni tiko ga mai Bua e dua na kaivalagi na yacana o Kavetani, kei na so tale na dauveivoli.

    E dua na siga a soko mai kina na kavetani oya me mai voli dri e Verata, kei na so na kaimua, era vodoka mai e dua na vanatolu. Era mai kele donui Nabotini mai Verata. Dua na siga era gade i waqa na kai Verata, ra mani kunea kina na iyau eso, na dakai, na isulu, na matau, na isele, era sa mani domona lo tu. Nira lesu mai vanua, era tukuna sara vei Naitini, na turaga mai Verata, sa qai vakaroti ira na nona ilawalawa mera vakarautaka na nodra motonivalu kei na iwau mera lako yani ina ivanatolu mera yaviti iratou na kaivalagi mera qai kovea na iyau kei na waqa me nodra.

    Era sa dui karavaka nodra takia lalai, ra dui nokata ena dago ni waqa levu, ra cabe i waqa, ra sega mada ni nanuma mera yaviti iratou e liu na kaivalagi ra qai kovea na iyau, oqo era sa cabe ga yani i waqa ra dui digitaka na ibinibini iyau ra dui vinakata. O koya e vinakata na ibinibini isulu sa lai dabeca sara tu, vaka kina o koya e vinakata na dakai kei na matau kei na iyau tale eso. Era sa qai tekivu kovea na iyau.

    Ia niratou sa kila na kaivalagi na lomadra, eratou yavala sara, ratou dui vakatawa sara na nodratou dakai. A ladetaka sara i cake na nona dakai o Waibuta, e dua na kaimua, a kabataka sara i na ivana e loma, lai toka sara mai na kena tedrevula, qai vanalaki ira mai na kai Verata ena rara ni waqa, ra mani mate e le levu vei ira, qai bula ga e dua na kai Macoi ni lade vakatotolo i wai qai nunu sara, a mani cabe bula i vanua.

    E levu na meke ni veivala oqo, e dua ga au kila, e vaka tu oqo:

    Ko Waibuta ka vesau mai waqa
    Tou vakaviti tou sa vala
    Na isele ko laki qereutaka
    Sa mate ko gone mai Verata
    Ka sa kabata na tedrevulaya
    Lauvana koto ka qalobulaya
    Cabe ki vanua ka tukuna sara,
    "Keimami sa moku mai waqa
    E bau ko Tinanikaiverata
    Au kena bula duadua kana."

    Lesu iCake

    O Tinanikaiverata e dua na ganei koya Naitini a bau tiko e waqa ena nodra ivalu na kai Verata.

    Nira sa moku oti na kai Verata, sa mani vakabulai duadua ga na marama oya, qai cavukelekele sara na waqa a soko sara yani. Sa rai tiko o Tinanikaiverata ratou sa laveti koya Naitini mai na kai valagi qai mai vakatekelitaki qai vakarewataki. Ni sa rube tu sa vagatai mai na isele a mai laulausele kina. Ni sa raica o Tinanikaiverata ni sa cebelaki vaka oya na ganena sa qai yaluma sara ena tagi, a lai bolea sara na kuna vei turaga ni waqa ena nona tagilagalaga, a vaka me iloloku kei na ganena. A mani sega ni vakabauta na turaga na waqa. Ni sa uru yani i Levuka, eratou sa qai kauti Tinanikaiverata i vanua. A tiko mai Levuka na marama qo, oti sa qai usa i Bau, sa qai usa sobu i Verata, a mani yaco bula tale i nona koro.

    Ia ena yabaki 1905 a vola kina o Misi Wilikinisoni, na turaga na iliuliu ni veitarogivanua ena gauna oya, e dua na italanoa mai Verata me baleta na ka vata ga oya, e volai sara tu ena vosa vakaviti. Meda nanuma tiko ni o ira na kavetani kei na meti ni waqa ni vavalagi, e dau tu na yacadra vakaviti. O Misi Hutchins na kavetani ni waqa qo, na yacana vakaviti tu o "Batinamu". Nona meti dau yacana vakaviti o "Waibuta". Qo na kena italanoa.

    "Eratou sa veisei vakaturaga e Verata. Dua na ito o iratou na turaga Vunivalu, dua na ito o iratou na turaga ni Sanokonoko. Sa mani nakita e lomana o Ratu Vananalagi na turaga ni Sanokonoko, me laki nona koro tiko na waqa i Batinamu, kena meti o Waibuta, me lai tiko kina me qai kabai iratou mai na koro, ni nanuma o koya ni waqa levu qai kaukaua, e tu tale ga kina na iyaya ni ivalu, na dakai, na nuku, na gasau, na qiwa kei na matau. A qai lai tukuni vei iratou na kaiwai me ratou sa lai labati na kaivalagi e waqa.

    Eratou sa vodo ena dua na waqaniviti, a lako yani i waqa. Sa moku sara o Batinamu, ka ratou veidroyaki na kaimua kei na meti o Waibuta. Ra kaba ina ivana a qai lai vanavana tiko mai na karikari. O iratou na kaiviti ra mate kina e le 2, ratou qalobula i vanua na kena vo. Ia o Ratu Vananalagi se tiko ga e dreke, ni sa mate oti na kavetani. Sa lala tu na dreke i muri, sa lai tiko sara kina o Ratu Vananalagi. Ia e tiko tale ga kina o Marica [?] na ganena ka bau lako tu i sarasara i waqa. Sa qai cavuikelekele ka soko yani i wai ka curu yani i Davetalevu, sa vakamamasu tiko o marama i Batinamu vei Waibuta ka kaya me bula ga o Ratu Vananalagi, ka sa sega ni yaco. Ka sa laulausele a biu i wai, a qai ciri na uluna a kasa i Moturiki, a qai mai soqoma o Buikeinautokaroko. E kai Verata ga o Buikeinautokaroko, a qai lai buluta. Dede vakalailai sa qai lai keli tale mai ka mai bulu e Verata.

    Ia sa dua ga na ka ca ni ratou a lai labati iratou na kai vavalagi qai mate ga e le duabau ga na kaivavalagi, ka mate e le 3 na kaiviti. O marama i Batinamu sa kau sara i Macuata ka lai biu tu kina, qai lai kau tale mai kina, mai bulu tale e Verata.

    Oya na levu ni itukutuku. Levu na tikina e sota vinaka sara tu ga kei na itukutuku e vola o Misi Korosi ena 1838. E vakaraitaka ni levu na ka eda nanuma tiko ni itukuni ga vakaviti e italanoa dina sara ga.