Sunday, August 31, 2014

Promises from candidates for the election

from w
A funny letter in today's Fiji Times reveals the silly responses from an aspiring politician.
Bridge, no river
AROUND the grog basin the other day, somebody came up with a story regarding an aspiring politician's pre-election promises in a settlement.
Candidate: "We will build the roads, health centre, school and a bridge for you."
A party supporter raised his hand and told the politician: "Excuse me, sir, there are no rivers here."
Without a second thought, the candidate replied: "So what, we will build a river".
During election campaigns, there will be aspiring politicians who will be building bridges where there are no rivers and later on making rivers to use the bridges, some will remove poverty, some will make everything free, some may increase wages while some who don't have anything to offer may be thinking of putting a "patch in the sky".
Whatever it is, one thing is for certain, there are a lot up for grabs.

ACTUAL:LY  it's been said before: 

Fijin soldiers captured - reasons why

from w
The past few days we are concerned by the story of the capture of the United Nations peace-keepers in the Golan Heights area - the 44 Fijian soldiers - as their whereabouts is still unknown.  As negotiations presumably are occurring to try and get them released, we wonder why they were targetted. The photos released - one group picture and one of ID photos, may be current or may be older. Here is one story from the New York Times.
Al-Nusra Front reveals reason for detaining UN peacekeepers
Monday, 01/09/2014

The Syrian branch of Al Qaeda has acknowledged that it captured 45 United Nations peacekeepers in southern Syria, saying they were being held in retaliation for what the group called the United Nations’ failure to help the people of Syria during the country’s civil war.The group, the Nusra Front, also accused the peacekeeping force, which has monitored the demarcation line between Syria and the Israeli‑occupied Golan Heights since 1974, of protecting Israeli‑controlled territory while doing nothing to stop the killing on the Syrian side.

The statement, released over the weekend, contained a group photo of the captured peacekeepers from Fiji, as well as a photograph of their identification cards.

The statement said they were being treated well and were given food and medical care, but it issued no demands for their release.

Although the Nusra Front said it was holding 45 peacekeepers, the United Nations had said 44 are being held, a discrepancy that could not immediately be explained. The statement was the first confirmation from the Nusra Front, one of the many groups fighting the forces of President Bashar al‑Assad in Syria’s civil war, that it was holding the peacekeepers.

They were captured on Friday, one day after rebels seized a crossing point on the demarcation line from Syrian forces.

Other rebels in the area had condemned the Nusra Front for capturing the peacekeepers and called for their release.
In its statement, the Nusra Front accused the United Nations of failing to help Syrians during the civil war, which has killed more than 190,000 people over more than three years.

The peacekeeping force in question, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, is responsible only for monitoring the frontier between Israeli ‑ and Syrian‑controlled zones and has no mandate to intervene in Syria’s civil war.
Source: New York Times
Story by Rusiate Baleilevuka
Bainimarama's men
31/08/2014 4:39am
Al-Nusra does have a point to make. The UNDOF appears not neutral but a subserviant to Israel for Israelis' protection to purported peace keeping for their protection and not for those muslims who died and were abused by those Israelis according to Al-Nusra.

So Fijian soldiers are part of that combat and therefore capture what appears to be a point to make to show they are capable of capturing and then releasing the captives, thus are not as nasty as those that the Fijians are there to protect.

Pray that they will not treat the Fijians as the enemy and no concession must go to Bainimarama if they are released unharmed.

Consider that Chinese are taking over their land, their resources so one day they may be protecting their own boarder for peace with China when they can't pay back Bainimarama's debts and surrender to China like a cat and not like a tiger as Moses Tikoitonga put it correctly!

But for now we shall pray for our men who are there desperate for making a quick dollar but families are destroted.
gone with the wind
31/08/2014 6:02am
So... its a kilavata family in the military top tier. Sa rauta..

And a stupid comment, yet again, from Tikoitoga:

"Be a Cat AND Fight another day".

There will be no other day.

Moce Jo.
Fiji First Party (Original)
31/08/2014 11:23am
To our Soldiers – You are in our hearts and in our thoughts. We feel for your families and we pray for your safe and quick return to your loved ones. How unfortunate of you to have been caught-up in this dreadful situation of a WAR not of your making or concern.

We are hoping that our Government leaves not a single stone unturned in its diplomatic and other efforts in securing your quickest possible release and return home. In the meantime, we pray that you be Brave, Professional and Safe. 
31/08/2014 2:13pm
the foot soldiers of the Fiji Military have been used as military fodder by the top dogs in the Fiji Military both at home to carry out coups and bully the civilian population and abroad to serve the agenda of the UN - who then turn a blind eye to the abuses and repression and the curtailment of democratic rights and freedoms of the Fijian people .
The Fijian soldiers are mere pawns in other players political game.
31/08/2014 3:45pm
The military bosses of whom bai was once the head did a reckless gamble and it blew in their faces with this fiasco. Money was the prime objective of this decision to send our soldiers to a danger zone which other countries have abandoned due to the risk it posed. Now the same military stooges are taken aback as it backfired with this event. So instead of reviewing its decision the army is considering sending another 44 pawn soldiers to face the same danger as their colleagues did. The thought of losing the UN money is overriding all other concerns that they are becoming irrational.
31/08/2014 2:37pm
slaughtering innocent people is an evil thing to do no matter who is doing it - the Israeli State, the Islamic State, the United States, the Russian State, the Chinese State, the African States, the Latin American States, the Indian State, the Fijian State, the Capitalist State, the Communist State, the Totalitarian State, the Fascist State, the Nazi State .
Good men and women everywhere must stand up against such evil doing wherever it is happening

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Pacific Island woman ordained as a minister in Australia

from w
There are already several Fijian, Tongan and Samoan women who are Uniting Church ministers in Australia and most have come from Methodist backgrounds in the islands. Yesterday Mrs Temukisa Vaeluga, a Samoan who has spent part of her life in Fiji, New Zealand and now Australia, was ordained in Geelong. St Andrews was the venue of this significant event of the Uniting Church, the ordination of a Samoan woman, Mrs Temukisa Vaeluaga, the wife of St Andrew's and St Albans minister Rev Sani. It was a beautiful ceremony, with two hours of ritual, music, prayers and a fine sermon from Rev Professor Sean Winter. Afterwards we had a Pacific style feast for a couple of hundred people. There were Islander style aspects too - the blowing of three conch shells, the ceremonial items of a kava bowl, a walking stick, mats and tapa cloth. Congratulations to Temukisa for all the study over many years and the discernment to become a minister. Her first appointment will be in Gippsland  at the town of Traralgon. Rev Sani will also move from Geelong to become a Presbytery Minister in Gippsland. It was been a pleasure to have this Samoan family in our midst for a few years and they will be missed especially by the people of St Andrews and St Albans and the Presbytery of Port Phillip West where Sani has been the chairperson.

Pacific Island kids in Geelong

from w
The boys won the grand final of the tennis comp. this morning. Junior team of the East Geelong Uniting church tennis club (the ones who lost their courts and clubhouse early in the year when the Uniting church head office sold them for a debt). Congratulations boys. Jordan, Andrew, Jhiah, Ben.  (Two from Fiji, one from Tonga, one of Aboriginal descent.)The seniors won two championships and another was a draw, then in a playoff lost by a game. That was George's team alas. The boys printed their own T-shirts, the logo designed by George.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Who owns the land?

from w
Who owns the land, asks Colin Deoki in the Fiji Times today.

After a rambling introduction, Colin Deoki gets to the point in the end of his article:
To fully understand the solution to any land issue one has to first wrestle with the question — who owns the land Just recently, while watching a program about how children from diverse backgrounds communicate and relate with each other, I heard a young indigenous Australian boy say something so very profound about land ownership that it has left an indelible mark. He said, and I quote, "The land does not belong to us — we belong to the land!"
Leviticus 25:23 states: "The land, moreover, shall not be bought or sold permanently, for the land is mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with me."

I have always thought this, that paper titles or claims are secondary to the primary fact that humans are part of nature and in a relationship with nature,. The concept of ‘Deep Ecology’ is better than believing that we can ever ‘own’ land. As Colin quoted from a very old document – Leviticus – which I do take with a grain of salt mostly – we are sojourners, travellers on our way.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rev Anil Reuben head of Vuli Talatala at Davuilevu

from w
Some news from Davuilevu. Best wishes to Rev Anil as he takes up the task of leadership of the Vuli Talatala at Davuilevu.
(from the Fiji Times)  Reverend Anil sails into history
Ana Madigibuli
Friday, August 29, 2014
Reverend Anil Reuben is the first Fijian of Indian descent minister to be appointed principal of the Theological College. Davuilevu Theological College's newly-elected principal Reverend Anil Reuben says he will work faithfully in his new role as it is a call from God. 
Mr Reuben has the honour of being the first Fijian of Indian descent minister in the Methodist Church in Fiji to take up the important position in the church.
"I am really honoured to be elected as the new principal of the college and the church support towards me has been tremendous," Mr Reuben said. "My life changed tremendously when I gave my life to God; that was when things began to change for me.  would like to let the church and the nation know that I will work faithfully and I will not change anything because the changes only come from God," he said. "God is gradually changing the Theological College and things have changed a lot now like getting sermons online."
He said he would allow the Holy Spirit to bring about changes in the college when he takes up his new role. "One of the things that we emphasise in the college is the missionary commission; it is where they are trained physically, spiritually and mentally," Mr Reuben said. "The program is designed as such that the college students partake in all three aspects of life."
He said the college was fully-sponsored by the Methodist Church and students did not contribute anything to their studies apart from helping in raising funds for minor projects.

And here's a youtube video of Rev Anil.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vinaka Dr Thornley

from w
Excellent news and thank you very much to scholar Dr Thornley.  What would Fiji do without these energetic Aussies helping with such difficult tasks as putting out the Bible in an early translation.  Be good to compare the later version.  Story in today's Fiji Times.

Church launches vernacular Bible

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Update: 1:25PM REPRESENTATIVES of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma this morning witnessed the launch of the original iTaukei language Old Testament edition which was translated from the Hebrew language by Reverend David Hazelewood in the mid-19th century.
Church communications secretary Reverend James Bhagwan said the Bible edition was compiled by Methodist historian Dr Andrew Thornley who previously compiled the original i-Taukei language New Testament edition translated from Greek language by another missionary, Rev John Hunt.
The launch was held at 9am and the meeting continues at the Centenary Church in Suva, Fiji.
The photos are of Dr Thornley launching the earlier book - the New Testament as translated by John Hunt, and the second photo was taken in Melbourne when Dr Thornley came down to St Marks Chadstone to the Fijian congregation to introduce us to that book.

And DrThornley writes in the Fiji Times, Saturday 30 August:

ITaukei translation
I READ with interest Thursday's letter regarding the Bible translation (The Fiji Times 28 August).
The iTaukei translation which was recently launched at the Methodist Conference is the very first translation of the Old Testament into iTaukei.
It was completed between 1844 and 1855 by the Wesleyan missionary Rev David Hazlewood and he was assisted by Fijian convert Noa Koroinavugona, very likely Fiji's first theologian, who had earlier greatly helped Reverend John Hunt with the 1847 Fijian New Testament.
Hazlewood's Old Testament translation was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1864.
Hazlewood was a gifted linguist. Along with his native language of English, he was skilled in six other languages - French, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Tongan and iTaukei.
His translation of the Old Testament was done from the original Hebrew text of the Scriptures and translated directly into iTaukei.
The importance of the Hazlewood Old Testament for the iTaukei language and also the John Hunt New Testament which was translated from Greek directly into iTaukei is that this first iTaukei Bible is the foundational text of the iTaukei language and the reference point for all later translations of the Bible into the Itaukei language.
Of course no translation is perfect. However the Fijian people can be assured that in the work of Hazlewood on the Old Testament and Hunt on the New Testament they have a Bible which is a worthy record of the iTaukei language as it existed in the mid nineteenth century, including many rich and evocative idiomatic phrases.
Just as importantly, this first Bible translation is a faithful rendition into iTaukei of the meaning expressed in the original biblical languages.
(Dr) Andrew Thornley, Suva

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New President for Methodist Church in Fiji

from w
Congratulations Rev Tevita.  And also, he is related to our family through marriage!  A fine man indeed. There's a good write-up on the Methodist Church website - go to

From Fiji Village

The newly elected Methodist Church President remains firm that the church will not be involved in politics. Reverend Tevita Nawadra who has been elected as the new church President after the third round of voting today says although we have our differences, we are one in the eyes of God.   Reverend Nawadra will take up his new post  (etc.etc.)

From Fiji One TV

Nawadra is Methodist church leader

Posted by: Newsteam in News 55 mins ago Comments Off 34 Views
By: Dreu Vukailagi

The country’s largest religious denomination now has a new leader.
This comes after the Methodist Church annual Bose ko Viti conference elected Reverend Tevita Nawadra as its new President. It took the members of the Annual Methodist Church of Fiji three rounds of voting to decide on who will be their new President.

The race was clear that past trends will continue with current general secretary, Reverend Tevita Nawadra given the nod. In the church hierarchy for more than ten years, Nawadra has a clear goal on the role of the church.“The Methodist Church in Fiji will continue to pursue that line that we are ONE and we believe God that God has created us like that,” Rev Nawadra said.

He called on everyone to work towards a common goal especially during this time when we are just 42 days away from the general election. “We have our differences but we should find ways and means of working together and one of the best mean is to continue search for a common good that will be good for everybody in Fiji colour and creed.”

Nawadra reiterated the church’s stand when it comes to politics. “As President elect of the Methodist Church I have my blessing on all political parties on whoever comes in government we will support it this church will support which ever government comes into place.”

One a lighter note he is now the third President that hails from the island of Moala in Lau. “From the former President, to the interim President and now to me we all are from Moala. I dony know why God has chosen the people of Moala to lead this moment.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Methodists celebrate youth and more

from w
The photos from today's youth day and late yesterday show a lot of smiling, joyful people, with interaction, kindness, cultural exchange and informality. Here are a few photos from today's posting from the Fiji Methodist Church facebook page. Now this is the way the world should be.

Election list of candidates and their numbers

from Fiji live
The allocation of numbers drawn today is as follows: 2014 Fiji Elections National Candidate List 135 - Roneel Lalit Singh 155 - Attar Singh 175 - Eci Kikau Nabalarua 195 - Umesh Chand 215 - Ian Mitchell Simpson 235 - Mitieli Bulanauca 255 - Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum 275 - Hari Krishna 295 -  Viliame Tagivetaua 315 - Jioje Konrote 335 - Anare Vadei 355 - Kiniviliame Kiliraki 375 -  Taliai Rasolo 136 - Laisa Bale 156 - Asenaca Batikara Toga 176 - Shushil Sudhakar 196 -  Kolinio Vuda 216 - Samuela Vunivalu 236 - Makereta Rosi 256 - Ragho Nand 276 -  Peni Vuevuelala 296 - Paras Somaiya 316 -  Kele Leawere 336 -  Nanise Nagusuca 356 - Veena Bhatnagar 376 -  Howard Politini 137 - Bal Subramani 157 - Siddiq Faizal Koya 177 - Davendra Naidu 197 - Mere Samisoni 217 - Mataiasi Akauola 237 - Pio Tikoduadua 257 - Eroni Bagasau 277 - Vane Seruvakula 297 - Ilaijia Vuniyayawa 317 - Ro Teimumu Kepa 337 -  Chandar Singh 357 -  Vijay Singh 377 -  Parayame Cakacaka 138 - Rt Inoke Kubuabola 158 - Salote Radrodro 178 - Nazia Nisha Khan 198 - Mahendra Lal 218 - Tula Ram 238 - Adi Sivo Ravuwale 258 - Sulochna Wati 278 - Jone Baravilala Rasi 298 - Simione Drole 318 - Peni Daukaulotu 338 -  Munesh Prasad 358 -  Jone Usamate 378 -  Deo Narayan 139 - Ashneel Sudhakar 159 - Felix Anthony 179 - Kiniconi Bogidrau 199 - Raman Pratap Singh 219 - Mosese Bulitavu 239 - Ponipate Lesavua 259 - Lorna Eden 279 - Voreqe Bainimarama 299 - Viliame Tamanivalu 319 - Narendra Kumar Padarath 339 -  Rainjesh San 359 -  Isoa Tikoca 379 - Rohit Kishore 140 - Sekaia Suluka 160 - Nemia Vainitoba 180 - Adriu  Misiki 200 - Osea Naiqamu 220 - Ruveni Nadalo 240 - Mohammed Dean 260 - Paul Anthony Peters 280 - Nayagodamu Korovou 300 - Josiah Loloma 320 -  Ashok Kumar Singh 340 -  Usaia Moli 360 -  Monica Raghwan 380 - Josefa Natau 141 - Narendra Reddy 161 - Adi Sivia Qoro 181 - Naipote Vere 201 - Khalid Ali 221 - Sadasivan Naicker 241 - Pratap Sen 261 - Dorsami Naidu 281 - Joeli Drodrolagi 301 - Emasi Qovu 321 -  Adi Varanisese Ligalevu 341 -  Seni Nabou 361 -  Viam Pillay 381 - Anand Singh 142 - Anwar Khan 162 - Brij Lal 182 - Samu Saumatua 202 - Parmod Chand 222 - Joseph Veramu 242 -  Sitiveni Kalou 262 - Tomasi Vakatora 282 -  Ilisoni Galala 2 302 - Kamlesh Prasad 322 -  Bijen Ram 342 -  Amele Wabale 362 -  Adi Laisa Tora 382 - Jone Yavala Kubuabola 143 - Jilila Nalibu Kumar 163 - Meli Bogileka 183 - Vilimoni Vosarogo 203 - Kalisito Maisamoa 223 - Luisa Waqanika 243 - Semi Momoedonu 263 - Laisenia Tuitubou 283 - Roshika Deo 303 - Teddy Fong 323 - Alvick Maharaj 343 -  Anishini Chand 363 -  Penina Ravuki   144 - Akosita Ditoka 164 - Suliano Matanitobua 184 - Alivereti Nabulivou 204 - Deven Magan 224 - Udit Narayan 244 - Atunaisa Delai 264 - Manasa Nasara 284 - Mick Beddoes 304 - Mahendra Reddy 324 -  Prem Singh 344 - Rt Sela Nanovo 364 -  Kalisi Ratuwara   145 - Sanjit Patel 165 - Kamlesh Chandra 185 - Timoci Natuva 205 - Kalisito Bolatolu 225 - Rakesh Kumar 245 - Faiyaz Koya 265 - Jiko Luveni 285 - Amrit Prasad 305 -  Etonia Lote 325 - Sitiveni Loco 345 - Viliame Gavoka 365 -  Inia Seruiratu   146 - Apakuki Kurusiga 166 - Simione Naituku 186 - Pramod Rae 206 - Sunil Kumar 226 - Akmal Ali 246 - Solomone Catarogo 266 - Jone Dakuvula 286 -  Netani Rika 306 -  Parveen Kumar 326 -  Bhim Raj 346 - Rt Iliesa Raseru 366 -  Varaun Lal   147 - Satish Chandra 167 - Vijay Nath 187 - Semi Tuileca Koroilavesau 207 - Sakiusa Ratutila 227 - Josaia Waqabaca 247 - Jone Bebe 267 - Surendra Lal 287 -  Solomone Natou 307 - Manasa Baravilala 327 -  Jeremaia Namuaira 347 -  Biman Prasad 367 - George Shiu Raj   148 - Aseri Radrodro 168 - Vyas Deo Sharma 188 - Semesa karavaki 208 - Nirmal SingH 228 - Simione Rasova 248 - Bimal Prasad 268 - Manoj Kamal 288 - Neil Sharma 308 - Tupeni Baba 328 -  Luke Ratuvuki 348 - Rt Osea Bolawaqatabu 368 -  Marika Uluinaceva   149 - Lavinia Padarath 169 - Koleta Marama Sivivatu 189 - Rt Peceli Rinakama 209 - Suresh Ram 229 - Waisale Tabuya 249 - Semi Titoko 269 - Anay Prakash 289 -  Rt Filimone Ralogaivau 309 - Kini Maraiwai 329 -  Laisani Qaqanilawa 349 -  Rishi Ram 369 -  Isimeli Neioko   150 - Niko Nawaikula 170 - Pasepa Lagi 190 - Jeremaia Tuwai 210 - Sunil Dutt Sharma 230 - Abhi Ram 250 -  Sofia Akbar 270 - Sant Kumari Murti 290 -  Venasio Savea 310 - Marika Lewaqai 330 -  Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa 350 - Mereoni Tuvou 370 -  Josefa Koroiwaca   151 - Emasi Ravulo 171 - Mikaele Leawere 191 - Satya Nand 211 - Marika Tauva 231 - Sandeep Narayn Singh 251 - Akhtar Ali 271 - Poate Uculoa 291 - Peni Turaganisolevu 311 - Mohammed Rafiq 331 -  Viliame Satala 351 - Himaiyat Ali 371 -  Patrick Singh   152 - Surujmati Nand 172 - Rt Tevita Niumataiwalu 192 - Latchmaiya Naidu 212 - Mereseini Vuniwaqa 232 - Viliame Naupote 252 - Sitiveni Loco 272 - Rupeni Silimaibau 292 - Josefa Dulakiverata 312 - Sat Narayan 332 - Paulini Waqaniboro 352 -  Iliesa Delana 372 -  Rt  Lewanavanua Bouwalu   153 - Jimilai Wanibalagi 173 - Balmindar Singh 193 - Kavai Vunidogo 213 -  Tupou Draunidalo 233 - Priscilla Singh Shilomani 253 - Morgan Baleikoro 273 - Tuinadave Radogo 293 -  Pio Tabaiwalu 313 - Lynda Tabuya 333 - Jagnnath Sami 353 - Eroni Maopa 373 -  Damodar Nair   154 - Anshu Lata 174 - Anuantaeka Takinana 194 - Losena Salabula 214 - Fay Volatabu 234- Michael Fernado 254 - Naiqama Lalabalavu 274 - Abdul Sahim Cavalevu 294 - Joeli Cawaki 314 - Anendra Prasad 334 -  Alexander O'Connor 354 -  Viliame Raile 374 - Inia Tamani   FijiLive

Read more at:
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Good media work for Methodist Church in Fiji

from w
Go to the facebook page for the Fiji Methodist Church to see a thousand or more photos from the past week's celebration for the Jubilee - 50 years on - since the Independence of the church from being a mission outreach of the Australian Methodist Church.  Lots of great photos of worship, choirs, traditional ceremonies, food, people we might recognize, overseas visitors, etc. and streaming of the main events. Today is Youth Day so there is a lot of great activity going on.  The site is

Sodelpha says

from w
No matter which party or person you vote for, at least it is better to read/listen to the exact words of a spokesperson from the party, such as this one from the leader of Sodelpha.  Going by brief, sometimes exaggerated remarks in a newspaper article or even briefer remarks online - and also deliberate misinformation is inadequate.  Here there's a clear statement regarding a view about a Christian State.  Sodepha does not advocate an exclusive religious viewpoint at all.


STATEMENT No 21:    
 August 22 2014
Over the past few weeks certain sections of the media have set their sights on SODELPA through a number of issues. Those concerned have mounted a relentless effort to portray us as something other than a political party with sound values and principles. This is pro-regime propaganda.
It is quite extraordinary that the same media have nothing to say about the usurpers of our democracy, the draconian decrees they have in place, the plight of the 13 families [now 14 with the death of the robbery suspect while in Police custody], whose loved ones were killed, or the numerous citizens whose rights have been abused, with many of them subjected to beatings and other forms of torture, torment and persecution.
SODELPA will seek answers from these aiders and abettors of treason after the elections, but for now, I wish to state our position on the various issues that the media have, in our view, deliberately misconstrued.
1. Christian State
The SODELPA constitution and Manifesto do not call for a Christian State. What we say is that as a government, we will conduct ourselves based on Christian principles and values. These are values shared by all the world’s great religions. We are commanded to love our neighbors and do to others as we would have them do to us. We are required to forgive and to be merciful. We must care for the poor, the sick, the homeless, the forgotten and those in need. We must seek truth and social justice. These are the principles and values by which we shall govern.
We continuously stress that all religious groups in Fiji are free to practice their faith and beliefs without any fear or intimidation or threat from a SODELPA-led government.
The fact that SODELPA is committed to Christian values and principles makes our party more sensitive to the importance of respecting the values and principles of all other religions in the country.
This is in line with SODELPA’s vision of a Fiji that draws its strength from the rich variety of traditions, languages and cultures of its communities.
The alternative vision of a Fiji devoid of its cultural richness and diversity would give us a country that would be a pale imitation of the Fiji we know and love.
2. Common Name
SODELPA does not recognize or accept that two unelected people, who seized power through armed intervention, have the authority to decide arbitrarily that citizens of Fiji are called Fijians.International conventions and declarations of the rights of indigenous peoples stress the importance of prior consultation and consent on the use of their names as their identity. Article 19 of the UNDRIP (UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) says quote
‘States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them’.
Again we stress that the indigenous Fijians do not recognize the right of unelected individuals to take away their established identity and give them another like iTaukei.
The indigenous people have, for well over a century, been commonly known as Fijians; that name now is part of their tradition and culture. SODELPA will retain it for the indigenous community.
The issue of a common name for all will be addressed by SODELPA once a democratic, transparent and accountable government is established after September 17th 2014. We will initiate a national conversation among all communities in Fiji to establish a common name that does not divide us but creates a sense of unity and patriotism.
It will not be an imposed decision.
3. Indigenous Rights
SODELPA’s position on the indigenous people of Fiji is in keeping with established conventions of the ILO 169 & UN Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). We are guided by these international instruments.
A SODELPA Government will adopt UNDRIP Articles that ensure:-
  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law.
  2. Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.
  3. Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
  4. Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.
  5. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.
  6. Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.
  7. Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person. Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.
  8. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture:-
  9. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
  10. Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their
  11. cultural values or ethnic identities;
  12. Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
  13. Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
  14. Any form of forced assimilation or integration;
4. Fair Distribution of rental income by Itaukei
SODELPA will allow the land owners themselves to decide how the lease funds received for their land should be distributed. This cannot be dictated to them. It is their money and therefore they should decide how it is shared.
SODELPA notes with concern the attempt by some media reporters to push the Bainimarama–Khaiyum policy of dictating how landowners should share their wealth. The regime’s motives for doing this are very much related to its continuing campaign to undermine indigenous traditions and way of life.
Members of other communities decide for themselves how their earnings should be shared. No one else tells them how this should be done. The same principle should apply to the indigenous people surely.
5. The Abolition of the Great Council of Chiefs
The abolition of the Great Council of Chiefs, like the imposition of a common name, was the decision of two unelected, unrepresentative usurpers of our democracy. They acted and continue to act without a mandate from our people.
The GCC is the pinnacle of Fijian society, and just as other communities continue to enjoy their community and cultural structures without interference from the state, so too must the indigenous people of Fiji have the same right.
SODELPA will bring back the GCC and in so doing take the opportunity to review its functions and operations so that it can be better resourced to ensure more effective delivery in addressing specific issues affecting not only the indigenous people but all the citizens of Fiji.
The decision on the future of the GCC will remain the prerogative of the Fijian people and we expect all other communities to respect that right in the same way that their rights are respected by the Fijian itaukei community.
This is the position of SODELPA on these issues.
Authorized By
Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa
Party Leader, SODELPAAugust 22, 2014