NEWS

Call For Aust Kava Ban

The Fiji Kava Council is not happy with a proposal made by Australia’s Indigenous Affairs Minister, Nigel Scullion to ban Kava in Australia. This follows reports in Australia that Mr
09 Mar 2015 11:04
Call For Aust Kava Ban

The Fiji Kava Council is not happy with a proposal made by Australia’s Indigenous Affairs Minister, Nigel Scullion to ban Kava in Australia.

This follows reports in Australia that Mr Scullion, a Northern Territory senator, revealed on February 23 that he planned to “pursue” the banning of Kava.

This is after claims that Tongans are illegally smuggling Kava into the Northern Territory, where Kava has been banned.

The chairman of the Fiji Kava Council, Rupeni Koro said Fijians and South Pacific islanders living in Australia should be treated fairly.

“Australia should look at Fiji. People of different races, religions and ethnicity are allowed to practice their traditions and beliefs freely,” Mr Koro said.

He said Kava had no alcohol content and had been a traditional aspect of the lives of Fijians, especially the iTaukei.

“When living in a land away from home, you like to do something that reminds you of home. Once in a while and for a lot of iTaukei people overseas, they like to gather around the tanoa when they meet,” Mr Koro said.

According to the Sunshine Coast Daily, Mr Scullion said they accepted people practicing their culture in Australia, but when it is perverted and redirected and to harm their first Australians, it isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.

“But I’m an advocate unashamedly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. That’s my job – and I think it should be banned and I will continue pursuing it until it is banned,” Mr Scullion said.

Pacific islanders living on the Sunshine Coast are also outraged with the proposal.

Fijian-born, Naibuka Sokovagone has started an online petition to urge the Minister to change his mind and it has already gained support from around the world.

Mr Sokovagone said Mr Scullion’s call to ban kava would be like banning Australia’s popular beer, VB, or tea in England.

Feedback: ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj

 


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