The GCC evolution
Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori
I thank those writers who tried so hard to justify the existence and relevance of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) from some historical records of 100 to 200 years ago, including the era commonly known as “daku-nikuila”.
Archaeological and scientific records (via radio-carbon dating) showed that Fiji was settled more than 1260BC. That is more than 3260 years ago. This would mean that this 200 year chapter of our history is just six per cent of Fiji’s overall human settlement history. (200/3260 = 0.06). This would mean that 94 per cent of Fiji’s human geographical history is unaccounted for. For this fundamental reason, we cannot logically claim that this chosen six per cent chapter of our recent history is the only true representative example of our iTaukei culture and traditional heritage. Even the arrival of the gun changed the balance of power in our tribal war history and if we’re allowed to continue without the arrival of missionaries, who knows? May be some paramount chiefly families of today would be commoners and vise-aversa. What is relevant today is that under the current registration of native land ownership on the VKB (Vola ni Kawa Bula) is distributed on tokatoka, mataqali and yavusa lines.
No native land is registered to belong to a yasana, matanitu or even to a vanua. That is what we should base our argument on today. In some parts of Fiji, some mataqali and tokatoka own more lands than some yavusa.
In some places, there are three villages, all from the same yavusa and in some places like in Sanasana in Nadroga that has seven yavusa in one single village (including two yavusa vakarurugi). Our culture and tradition has been evolving for thousands of years and will continue to so. Even some hardcore supporters of the GCC in the Opposition bench in Parliament have non-iTaukei blood running in the veins of their own families today making them very much part of this evolution. We have progressed well and peacefully for almost 10 years without the GCC and we should continue to do so as the people of this country mandated in the result of the last election.