Friday, September 30, 2011

Fijian View About Citizenship

Fiji Times News - 30 September 2011

ITaukei view on citizenry

by Shalveen Chand
Fijian Men forced to be labelled as Itaukei by illegal regime
SOME iTaukei people believe that only those registered under the Vola ni Kawa Bula (iTaukei registry) are legal citizens of Fiji, a workshop on good governance and human rights was told yesterday.
The Citizens Constitutional Forum workshop targeting the provinces of Tailevu, Naitasiri and Ra with awareness programs to change attitudes on issues of good governance, human rights and citizenship was attended by provincial administrators of the three provinces.
During a group presentation, it was disclosed that ethno-supremacy still existed in the provinces and there was still much to be done to change the attitudes of people.
A baseline report done by CCF said there were common misconceptions regarding citizenships.
The report also revealed that when questions were put to the control group on citizenship, a large number believe that only the iTaukei are Fijians.
During group discussions issues such as governance were highlighted where the group members said the iTaukei community would not consult government officials readily for advice.
The report said there continued to be a high level of misunderstanding and prevailing ethno-supremist attitudes about citizenship.
CCF chief executive Reverend Akuila Yabaki said the baseline survey revealed significant ground had been made through the advocacy program to change attitudes on issues of good governance, human rights and citizenship.
Titled Scratching the Surface, the baseline survey was designed to look at the effects of human rights, good governance and citizenship workshops in the communities.
"Research results are mixed but basically validate the need for continued advocacy on the three issues in order to build an inclusive society which acts responsibly and recognises the rights of all," said Mr Yabaki.
"The comprehensive research, funded by the UNDP Pacific Centre for Strengthening Capacities for Peace and Development Small Grants, also shows, however, that many strong views remain on a perceived special status for the iTaukei."


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