NEWS

Fijian Is More Than Being A Citizen: Rabuka

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka says for the iTaukei to be called  Fijian means more than just being a citizen of Fiji. “It means being registered in the iVola ni Kawa
29 Oct 2018 14:49
Fijian Is More Than Being A Citizen: Rabuka
SODELPA party leader Sitiveni Rabuka speaking to supporters at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa on October 27, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka says for the iTaukei to be called  Fijian means more than just being a citizen of Fiji.

“It means being registered in the iVola ni Kawa Bula (VKB) as a member of a customary landowning mataqali or clan,” he said.

He made the remarks at a party campaign meeting at Friendly North Inn in Labasa on Saturday.

His remarks have raised questions about the party’s position on Fijian as a common name.

One interpretation is that the name Fijian is inextricably linked to VKB registration.

In practice only iTaukei are eligible to be registered.

While the party manifesto has been critical of some aspects of the 2013 Constitution on indigenous rights, it is silent on the common name.

In the 2014 General Election, the party strongly opposed it and argued it should only be reserved for iTaukei.

Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa was the first in the party to accept Fijian as the common identity. The rest of the party, including Mr Rabuka, have been slow to respond.

It has led to the release of public comments like the one Mr Rabuka did in Labasa, which could  be interpreted in several ways.

Mr Rabuka said it was not racist to talk about iTaukei issues.

He said their manifesto covered the interest of every Fijian.

He said there was a fine line between race and identity which was often overlooked.

He said he had been reiterating that as party leader that he now stood for inclusiveness. He said the party was not a race-based party as viewed by others.

Mr Rabuka was supported by party candidates such as Nilesh Jaduram, Mosese Bulitavu, Ratu Tevita Niumataiwalu and Ezekiel Sharma.

Edited by Epineri Vula

 nacanieli.tuilevuka@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: