National Identity

Postdate: 31/ 12/ 2007

The Editor
Fiji Sun
Suva .

Dear Editor,

Once again we are stuck with national identity.

SDL, a political party is perpetuating ethnic divisions left from the British colonial period. Peceli Kinivuwai, SDL national director had boasted (FS 30/12/07) that he was prepared to sacrifice his life in his fight for the cause of the indigenous Fijians. The question is exactly at what cost would Kinivuwai offer this sacrifice?
If  Kinivuwai is setting his eyes on the next election then it is saddening to see SDL gearing up to parrot the same lies which caused instability in 1987 and 2000. He has repeated the politics of stirring fears in the hearts of indigenous Fijians.

How often have we heard politicians with the same message that amongst millions in the world there are only 500,000 people born as bona fide members of this country.   By definition bona fide members are those who are genuine as separate from those who are not. Kinivuwai has instituted his own apartheid policy. He excludes any person   who is born in Fiji and chosen to make Fiji home as a non- bona fide Fijian. One could name many who have chosen to stay making invaluable contribution to a better future.

Kinivuwai’s   predecessors in the SDL party showed lack of   transparency and discredited for alleged corruptive practices.   Kinivuwai is set on the same path of continuing the same game of politicization.   Fijian ethnic interests are protected within the Constitution and by the respect accorded to indigenous Fijians by others out of goodwill. What exactly does Kinivuwai mean by things being trampled upon which could lead to indigenous Fijians being changed for the worse?

Kinivuwai says , “Fijian traditional system   did not believe in court processes.   We believe in sitting down over a tanoa of grog and reconciling differences in this process.”

Two points could be made. First, 83 % of the current prison population   is of indigenous Fijians between 16-39 years of age.   I suggest that political parties should stop denigrating the rule of law and the court system because it makes it harder for young indigenous people to accept equality before the law. In solidarity   CCF had offered an affidavit in the current SDL case against its overthrow by the Military on 5th December, 2006.
Secondly SDL Party is encouraged to take up the allocated seat in the (NCBBF) because this gesture goes far beyond sitting down over a tanoa of grog and reconciling differences!

I suggest that in the lead up to 2009 Election SDL enter into partnership with CCF in helping to provide education and awareness amongst the village communities about constitutional safeguards for Fijian interests. Once villagers have learnt about the truth of their supremely based security, the same people should make demands on their leaders to stop the politicization of Fijian interests which can ignite the fire of communalism. Genuine freedom of expression will not be achieved as long as indigenous Fijians remain in the dark about their constitutional rights.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Akuila Yabaki

CEO,CCF

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