Letters to the Editor, May 30th, 2017

Defending Nawaikula Jone Dakuvula, Suva I refer to Nemani Delaibatiki’s column headed “Silence from NFP Deafening on Nawaikula’s Racist Rant”, [FS 27/05/2017]. This is an ironical heading. Nawaikula’s speech was not
30 May 2017 13:29
Letters to the Editor, May 30th, 2017
SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula in Parliament.

Defending Nawaikula

Jone Dakuvula, Suva

I refer to Nemani Delaibatiki’s column headed “Silence from NFP Deafening on Nawaikula’s Racist Rant”, [FS 27/05/2017]. This is an ironical heading.

Nawaikula’s speech was not “racist” even though Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum interpreted it that way. And Delaibatiki also labels, it a “racist rant”.

Mr Nawaikula made a factual statement that the name “Fijian” for a long time was the exclusive identity of the iTaukei. Through the 2013 Constitution, the regime of Bainimarama and Sayed-Khaiyum imposed it as a national name for all without the permission of the iTaukei and their Chiefs.

Let me be very clear, I have been since the 1970s in favour of all Fiji citizens being called Fijians but the way it had been imposed without consultation and legitimation is culturally wrong and in terms of the principles of UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (that Fiji had ratified) also wrong. It was done without the iTaukei’s informed consent.

The iTaukei customary way of obtaining such permission for an inclusive identity was not followed.

You have mentioned the SODELPA leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, as being in favour of Fijian as the national name but you have failed to note that she also exemplified recently the right way of getting iTaukei approval of inclusion in an identity they already had. The recent acceptance by her and the Chiefs of Rewa for the inclusion of the descendants of the Grimtyas as iTaukei of Rewa, with the traditional status of “Luvedra na Ratu” is the way to get iTaukei support for a sensitive issue such as this.

Symbolical, voluntary acceptance achieved through respectful following of custom, is the way to legitimise an issue such as common name, not imposition. Unfortunately, this plan of the NCBBF and the successor Advisory Council on the People’s Charter was not followed in 2013.

The NFP, as far as I know, has been in favour of Fijian, as the national name for about 50 years, but not by imposition. The NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad, was part of the ceremonial acceptance of the descendants of the Grimtya’s as members of the Province of Rewa and its Vanua Confederations.

That shows the NFP’s proper approach to this issue because right from their beginning overs 50years ago, the NFP was advised by prominent iTaukei members such as Ratu Julian Toganivalu, Ratu Mosese Varisikete, Apisai Tora and other Chiefs like Ratu Glanville Lalabalavu and Ratu Soso Katonivere. These were people who were steeped in iTaukei culture and had traditional status.

It is surprising therefore that Delaibatiki displays ignorance by expecting NFP MPs to attack Nawaikula for a “racial rant”.

Nawaikula was also correct that many iTaukei no longer feel a sense of security and control over their natural resources under this Government. I can give some examples of this point but will hold until someone asks in this column.

The phrase “deafening silence” is more apt description of Fiji Sun’s attitude on many issues.

Global warming

Neelz Singh, Lami

Such a trending issue when the whole world depends on has been exploited with carbon emissions, global temperatures, sea level and other gases are on rise.

How do we combat such a global disease where billions exist on one earth is a concern?

There is reason to believe that the earth is not the only planet in the solar system undergoing climate change, meaning CO2 emissions are not the primary force responsible for the rise in global temperatures. Planets like Pluto, Saturn, Uranus changes in light intensity of Neptune suggests something very strange is happening in the solar system.

Nothing is stable, including the solar system. Blame solar warming where the entire solar system is heating up! What can be done remain the question?

Shipping service

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

A friend requested that I place a complaint in this column regarding the pathetic customer service of the Victoria Shipping Company which operates the shipping vessel Brianna.

He came from Lautoka to board the vessel which was to depart from Suva at 2pm on Saturday.

The company had instructed via radio announcement that passengers should check in early as departure is at 2pm.

My friend got really frustrated when he and other passengers had to hang around the wharf from 2pm and at 10pm, he rang me up to say that they still have not departed.

He is appealing to shipping authorities to take action, so that shipping companies do not let passengers suffer unnecessarily, spending long hours at the wharf waiting to board a shipping vessel.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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