NEWS

‘Offensive’ iTaukei Word To Be Replaced From VKB

The iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission is looking for a more respectable word to replace the term ‘bastard’ which is used in the Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB) to classify
07 Dec 2016 11:00
‘Offensive’ iTaukei Word To Be Replaced From VKB
iTaukei Land and Fisheries Commission chairman, Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula . Photo: Ronald Kumar

The iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission is looking for a more respectable word to replace the term ‘bastard’ which is used in the Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB) to classify children born out of wedlock.

Commission chairman, Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula, revealed this to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources in Parliament yesterday.

Ratu Vananalagi said they have received suggestions from the iTaukei cocmmunity that a more respectable and appropriate term to replace ‘bastard’ in the VKB. He said people found the term “offensive”.

“People have raised the issue with us because they find it disrespectful to see their names labelled as ‘bastards’ and we are thinking of the best word we can use instead of using the word bastard,” he said.

In the VKB- which records all the clans of the 14 provinces in Fiji, children born out of the wedlock had the initial ‘B’ written beside their names. This, Ratu Vananlagi said denoted the term ‘bastard’.

He said if the child’s parents were married before he or she was born than there would be no ‘B’ initial beside their name.

This has been welcomed by the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and its director, Ashwin Raj, said the classification of some iTaukei as “bastards” was breaching section 26 of the Constitution.

He welcomed State’s move to replace the term with a more appropriate one.

Ratu Vananalagi said the term ‘bastard’ or initial B was only replaced if the child’s parents went on to marry each other. If the parents opted to marry someone else, the chid continues to be labelled with the initial ‘B’.

Opposition MP, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki then further question whether iTaukei children born out of wedlock had the right to inherit title or land inheritance under the VKB.

Ratu Vananalagi said if a couple decided that children born out of wedlock were registered under their father in the VKB  even that was allowed.

He said if the mother of a child couldn’t name the father of the child, the child would be registered under the mother in the VKB.

He said for children born out of wedlock it would depend on the vanua whether they should be given the right to inherit land or a title within the iTaukei community.

Opposition MP, Jiosefa Dulakiverata said it was important that iTaukei women were addressed on the issue so that they could be aware of what their children would face if they face such circumstances.

Mr Dulakiverata said the issue needed to be addressed for the child’s sake.

“Some of the girls don’t encourage fathers to know the child or the child to know the father, but eventually one day the child will come to know the father. With the current iTaukei system it is important that the issue is addressed,” he said.

Ratu Vananalagi said that young itaukei women and men are encouraged to follow the traditional iTaukei protocols of marriage in order to address the issue.

On the issue of adoption, Ratu Vananalagi said if a child, who was adopted had for some reason been registered in the VKB, their names would be removed if a dispute was registered.

 

Edited by Jyoti Pratibha

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: