Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Canada
From all the different views raised in this column regarding the GCC, I have come to the conclusion that this body should remain buried.
First, it is incorrect to try and associate the devastation by Severe TC Winston to the GCC issue and throw in the end of 2 Samuel verse17 to justify the claim. King David’s sin or disobedience caused the death of 70,000 people, which could have been saved if he had repented and sought God’s forgiveness in the first place.
Secondly, if the GCC is reinstated to advise Government on matters affecting the iTaukei people, then what would be the role of the iTaukei Land Trust Board and iTaukei Affairs? Being a body formed by the colonial government, does its reinstatement mean Fiji having a senate?
Is it the individual iTaukei chief or the GCC as a body that is recognised internationally as a human right as per UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples and Minorities September 2007? Does this mean that our chiefs have ceased to be one in the last 10 years when the GCC as a body was out of action?
There has been a lot of talk regarding GCC and the management of iTaukei land. Shouldn’t the three heads of the vanua or confederacies sit down with chiefs and landowners and handle land matters within their own vanua? In the last 10 years land and iTaukei matters have been handled by the ILTB and iTaukei Affairs or by the landowners themselves chaired by their chiefs. So why waste money and resources to get all the 250 plus chiefs together just to discuss matters that could be solved within ones own mataqali, yavusa, itokatoka, vanua, tikina or yasana? Fiji is now enjoying its new democracy and Fijians are happy with all the achievements so far, without the GCC and I believe many want to move forward as one people on a level playing field. What do we normally do when we are paying two people who seem to be doing the same job?