NEWS

Bainimarama: Big Strides Made In iTaukei Culture As Never Seen Before

Mr Nawaikula said: “The biggest mistake by the Government is to try and annihilate the rights of the first people of this country.
03 Apr 2019 10:35
Bainimarama: Big Strides Made In iTaukei Culture As Never Seen Before
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama outside Parliament on April 2, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has said in recent years that the iTaukei culture has received awareness and recognition on a scale never before seen in our history.

He was responding to remarks made by Social Democratic Liberal Party’s Niko Nawaikula in Parliament yesterday.

It was during the debate on the iTaukei Trust Fund Board’s 2013 and 2016 Annual Report that was tabled last year.

Mr Nawaikula said: “The biggest mistake by the Government is to try and annihilate the rights of the first people of this country.

“By assuming the control and management of the native land.”

To this, Mr Bainimarama replied: “By running a diverse investment portfolio in Fiji and overseas, the Fund maintains a steady stream of income that funds a number of projects and strengthens and promotes iTaukei and Rotuman culture.

management training of community leaders, educates on good governance practices to the next-in-line chiefly title holders and conducts professional development for the staff at the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.”

He said the Fund also supports the professional development of teachers of the iTaukei language through skills workshops and provided support towards a Diploma programme at the University of the South Pacific.

“Additional financial assistance is also provided towards a partnership with the British Council to implement the active citizen programme in communities, including in villages,” he said.

Mr Nawaikula said while the objective of the Board was to promote the indigenous culture, it was not acting on those mandates.

“We have universities, but we never study anything about our culture,” Mr Nawaikula said.

“Never once have the universities gone around the villages noting that our customs and traditions are oral and we need to record this.

“For this Board to become meaningful it must have a repository of all our indigenous culture.”

Mobile App

In response, Mr Bainimarama said the indigenous culture was not being forgotten, but rather it was being carried out at the highest levels of global prestige and understanding.

He said the development of the iVola- vosa App was an example of how the Fund promoted the iTaukei language.

“It has ensured that language is enshrined permanently and forever with over 24,000 words, images and audio files stored online for all to use,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He added that students in primary schools are also taught the iTaukei language as a compulsory subject which will help preserve the language.

He also welcomed recommendations by the Standing Committee that called for greater gender balance in the composition of the Board, which presently has two females out of the seven members.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: neelam.prasad@fijisun.com.fj 

 

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