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Chiefly System Flawed: Bulitavu

Chiefly System Flawed: Bulitavu
Opposition leader and Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa (left) and SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu.
October 10
09:59 2015

The chiefly system is flawed and steeped in a culture of treachery, deception and corruption, claims lawyer and SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu.

Mr Bulitavu claimed documentary evidence showed that tribal rights were breached during the signing of the Deed of Cession on October 10, 1874 in Levuka.

He said yesterday because of this, the chiefly system should be corrected to set the record straight.

He has called on Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to institute a Commission of Inquiry to examine the alleged breach and realign the tribal history based on iTaukei Land Commission records.

He said this would enable the iTaukei to  recognise their rightful indigenous community in accordance with the preamble of the 2013 Constitution, their ownership of iTaukei lands by Yavusa, Mataqali or iTokatoka.

“Their unique culture, customs, traditions and language must reflect their Verata ancient heritage and not an ancient heritage created by the British colonial legacy to protect the supremacy of Bau,” he said.

“To do this will truly reflect the spirit of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People (2007) and liberate a race that suffers from a culture of treachery, deception and corruption.”

“The compromised tribal identity of the iTaukei people was based on a culture to conceal truths and the culture of silence. It was created by the chiefly system and evolved over the years,” he said.

“It also became the belief within the Great Council of Chiefs which prevented the truth to emerge. It is time for Fijians to rediscover the truth of their twisted history.

“The Great Council of Chiefs should not be restored because the chiefly system is flawed. The culture in which the chiefly system operates is politicised by the interest of the descendants of the 1874 chiefs.

“They use ‘by convention rule’ to decide matters, for example the President of the Republic of Fiji rotates among the Confederacies of Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata. The convention will always reflect an element of inequality even if one claims it’s the traditional way to do things.

“In order to remove the old ways of doing things, the Bainimarama Government needs to sanction a special commission to investigate the breach of tribal rights,” he said.

“Indigenous rights must not be used as the reason to restore the Great Council of Chiefs by advocating the group rights that make tribes fall under the confederation of Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata which recognises the Vunivalu kei Bau as the supreme chief of the iTaukei people.”



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