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PM: iTaukei Are Protectors

The iTaukei are the protectors and not the protected, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Speaking at the second round of lease security bonuses totalling more than $360,000 to pine landowners
07 Sep 2014 11:07

The iTaukei are the protectors and not the protected, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Speaking at the second round of lease security bonuses totalling more than $360,000 to pine landowners in Drasa, Mr Bainimarama said the iTaukei population in Fiji today has more reasons to be proud.

“We have never had cause to be more proud. And we have never had a better future ahead of us,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said that iTaukei children today live longer than ever before, thanks to our better health facilities.

“More iTaukei than ever before can get a proper schooling, thanks to the free education my government has provided. More iTaukei than ever before can go on to technical colleges and universities thanks to our scholarships and government loans. Our language is now taught as a compulsory subject in all primary schools.

“We are thriving as a people.  Our land, traditions and culture are intact. We are respected.  We punch above our weight in Fiji and the world.

“In fact, wherever the iTaukei go, they are the protectors, not the protected. Our UN peacekeepers protect other communities in far off lands and they do it better than anyone else.

“They are brave – as we have been newly reminded in recent days. They are fearless. And they have made the iTaukei renowned throughout the world for their courage.”

He said the average iTaukei doesn’t need protecting, nor do they want it.

“They want to be empowered; to have a government that serves them, that gives them what they need to improve their lives and those of their families. Free education, better health facilities, electricity, clean water, better roads, telecommunication and as with this project, better housing.

Mr Bainimarama said some of the other policies of SODELPA are just as illogical. They say the word “Fijian” belongs to the iTaukei and can’t be shared with everyone. Fijian is an English word. It’s from the English language. How can it belong to the iTaukei? It belongs to everyone and describes a person who comes from the place that the English called Fiji.

“That makes us all Fijians, just like a person who comes from Australia is an Australian or a person who comes from America is an American.

He said that we are all Fijians because we come from a place that Captain Cook, not the iTaukei, called Fiji.

“This English word belongs to all of us. It describes all of us. And it unites us by giving us a word we can all use to describe ourselves.”

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