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Charter proposes common Fijian name
The draft People’s Charter to be made public this week proposes that all Fiji citizens be called Fijians.

And indigenous Fijians, who are now referred to as “Fijians” are to be called “itaukei”, the aboriginal inhabitants of Fiji.
National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF) member Loraini Tevi confirms that this is one of the proposals in the report by her NCBBF national task team, which will be part of the draft Charter.

Tevi is a co-chair of National Task Team 3, which deals with Socio-Cultural Identity and National Building.

The other two task teams - Growing the Economy, and Good Governance (Legal, Political, Institutional & Constitutional Reform) – also submitted their reports at the NCBBF’s fifth meeting today.

Members of the NCBBF, comprising community leaders and members of the interim Government, will discuss the proposed Charter tomorrow before it is taken around the country for public consultation over the next six to eight weeks.

The members will also discuss the State of the Nation Report, copies of which were given to them today.


Reader Comments
Posted Comments
Posted By: Lomai kid
Posted On: Aug 04 2008 19:29:00
Comment: There are two lots of Fijians ... one has their names in the VKB and the other doesn't ... sa dri yani.

Posted By: Jack
Posted On: Aug 04 2008 20:30:50
Comment: You have to be able to speak Fijian to be called a Fijian. How can you somebody want to call themselves Fijian when he/she was not able to speak, read, and write Fijian? A Fijian will always be a Fijian. An Indian will always be an Indian.. A Jew will always be a Jew. A Chinese will be always a Chinese. Fiji Indian will be better as such Israel Arabic, or African Chinese because you can't call a Chinese to be an African if he was born in China. Just be proud of you identity and move on. A Fijian tag will never make a Fijian out of an Indian origin citizen, period. God made us to be different because of his liking and how the hell do we think that creation on racial line is God's fault. Do we want to make this God look stupid or do we make stupidity of ourselves? God can not be mocked so NCBBF is somehow a genetic modified laboratory to change the course of our racial genetic composition through a piece of paper. So how much does it cost to come up with an overnight idea to assimilate race category for all when it was reserved for 100 of years for the indigenous race?

Posted By: Steven Hines
Posted On: Aug 04 2008 20:32:06
Comment: I wholeheartedly support this idea. Fijian is not an indigenous word. It should never have been used as such. Are the indigenous Fijians ashamed of using iTaukei? It is a wonder that they have not shown pride in their own name so far. A common name and a common slogan for all will build national pride. Note: My understanding is that Fiji, as the White man called it was evolved from the word Viti ... then Vitian sounds funny.

Posted By: bula
Posted On: Aug 04 2008 21:02:08
Comment: All to be called Fijians is wrong ... You can't change God's creation. If you are an Indian so be it. Why don't you want to be recognised as Indians? You come from Samoa ... you are not a Fijian ... If you are a Tongan, what else ... you are a Tongan. We will never be the same anyway ... what you guys trying to prove?

Posted By: Subramani
Posted On: Aug 04 2008 21:11:15
Comment: The interim Government seems to be doing a very good job in terms of putting the country back on track which is pre-coup 1987. We as members of the public should support someone who has taken the responsibility of taking the country forward at his own risk without being selfish & greedy. He has taken the responsibility by putting his life at great risk, for the benefit of the country. He went through hard times explaining to the world that whatever he is doing is in the interest of the country & its people and not to the few rich ones. To start with it's a good idea to have a common ground which is common name "Fijians". Then would be wise to have a common field to play. Government should own all the land and should distribute according to the needs of the people.

Posted By: Rajesh
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 01:33:50
Comment: Thanks, I have used this term "Fijian" most of my life. This is how I introduce myself in all parts of the world, except in Fiji. Vinaka!

Posted By: Apenisa
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 03:54:02
Comment: To Subramani, if you guys really want to be a Fijian, you must be ready to have intermarriage with the Fijians. Are you ready to do so?

Posted By: jay
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 04:29:47
Comment: If you are born in Fiji you are a Fijian.

Posted By: ravin
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 05:20:08
Comment: That's the way to go ... the best news from NCBBF in a long while. We all need to go forward ... not backwards ... look at the world everyone ... now depends on each other. We now must plant our own vegetables rice and other greens as we have abundance of land.

Posted By: Tailevu kido
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 06:02:39
Comment: It's about bloody time. All these old timers are probably the only ones that want to keep divisions between racial groups in Fiji. The younger generation like myself are tired of hearing this BS and couldn't give a rat's ass anymore. We just want to get an education, get a decent job and feed our families. The only way this can happen is if the country is united.

Posted By: mesu
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 06:16:22
Comment: I'm a born and bred i'Taukei (native Fijian) who works in a foreign country and I know what it feels like not to be considered equal with the natives. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth working my ass off everyday, paying my taxes, contributing to society but still feel and treated like a 2nd class citizen. The only difference is that money here is 20x better then what I will get if I was working Fiji, yet these ethnic minority groups still choose to stay in Fiji and help build our country. My son came to me last year and asked me why he was an "other " when he had to fill in a school form, it brought back flash backs being in my school in Fiji and seeing the faces of ethnic minority groups when they had to fill in a similar form. It's not a good feeling, especially for kid to slowly realise that no matter what he/she does they will never belong ... as a native Fijian I'm glad Fiji is moving in the right direction.

Posted By: boe
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 07:36:18
Comment: If you live in America you are American, If you live in Canada, you are Canadian, so if you live in Fiji, why can't you be Fijian? Remember, the original people were not Fijians, they came from somewhere in the African continent. If we get down to details, really the so called indigenous should really be African Fijian, just like African Americans, African so on and so forth.

Posted By: patsy cool(Bay Areaof Califronia)
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 07:55:59
Comment: If you are not in the VKB, then you are not a Fijian. God made us to be who we are. He made Heaven and Earth and all in it with different colours put together to make it beautiful, the Creation of our God, you cannot change that.

Posted By: Ula Nejad
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 08:06:45
Comment: hahaha ... more humour from this side of the world. Look, Fijian is just fine. It stands for nationality or citizenship not ethnicity. Ethnicity should only come to play when questions are asked for national surveys, whether it be on passports or health forms. Most of the races are mixed anyway. Why fix what is not broken. The only thing needs to be fixed is section 99 of the constitution. The multi-cabinet party coalition did not work in Congo Africa and it will not work in Fiji. Leadership is not negotiable. After all, the iTaukei will be responsible for the Pasifika Development herself. So live with it. The question is which Taukei. That is for the people to vote. And if accepted by minorities that will prove that they the minorities are Fijians at heart. There should be proportional representation in govt positions. That is all that is needed. End of story.

Posted By: Delta
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 09:36:17
Comment: People are already misunderstanding the people's charter. People's Charter is absolutely correct. By birth we are the citizens of Fiji and therefore we should be called Fijians but under the sub-category we should be identified as Fijians, Indians, Samoans, Tongans, Whites from NZ or Australia etc. One can never change your origin by birth. The People's Charter is recognising the citizenship my friends. Don't get too self centered. Look at the entire picture, for eg, America is a melting pot, yet if you are born in te US, you are an American Citizen, but one can be African American, White, Pacific islander etc. Get real people.

Posted By: Jack
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 10:05:32
Comment: Subramani mentioned that Frank was not "forward at his own risk without being selfish & greedy". But who gave himself a $182,000 cheque?

Posted By: jammed
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 15:53:45
Comment: I think Tevi fell off the wrong side of her bed while you are in Fiji, they call you Indians or Fijians, while you are in other countries, they call you Fijians.

Posted By: simon singh
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 13:48:39
Comment: I thought I was always called an Indo-Fijian in overseas. What's there in "names"? What difference will it make, has someone done the risk assessment, some cost/benefits/social impacts/scholarships/employment/voting rights/business rights analysis etc etc. of this issue. What will your passports say now? Will other countries know and recognise this?

Posted By: niraj
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 11:42:26
Comment: US media should stop calling Vijay Singh a "Fijian" - I wonder why they do that? Oh wait, because he is from Fiji ... not India.

Posted By: s.b.kashyap
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 12:30:14
Comment: I am delighted that the community (as represented by NCBBF) has recommended a common name for all the citizens of Fiji. This should have been done many years ago to eliminate racial connotation which has plagued a very beautiful country.

Posted By: Bramh Mishra
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 12:58:24
Comment: Living in US I am a Fiji American not Fijian and therefore a description like Fijian for all people living in Fiji seems appropriate. However if one wants to differentiate they could follow the American example for simplicity and common sense. One day perhaps after some hundred years or so all people living in Fiji are bound to move along and loose their labels anyway through intermarriages and what have you. So they are all headed towards being Fijian no matter how you fool yourself. Ethnic Fijians have acquired Indian customs to a large extent over time and the reverse is also true. As for me I have a problem trying to connect with ethnic Indians, but have no problem with Fijian Indians and what you may call Fijian Fijian.

Posted By: Moto
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 15:04:22
Comment: To Bula and Jack, I am beginning to witness a positive move in our beloved nation of Fiji. Let's be positive in our thinking. Being negative will not achieve anything good at all. The name Fijian will surely bind all races together in Fiji..

Posted By: Umesh
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 16:23:50
Comment: On one hand you are trying to united all ethnics groups together and on the other hand you are dividing the Fijians by calling them iTaukei�. Have one description for all ethnics groups.

Posted By: Jesse
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 17:37:08
Comment: Why are we continuing to try to all get along? The time is now to demand a separate Indo-Fijian state. We are tired of all the talk and the phony idea of one great happy Fiji. We are tired of the home invasions and robberies. It is very easy for Fijians to say "we should get along and be happy", they don't suffer like we do. Give us our own place, with our own police and rule now!

Posted By: raisaqai
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 18:41:46
Comment: Isn't this an insult to Indians? Are they ashamed to be called Indians? Is a name going to change anything?

Posted By: anil shankar
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 21:39:26
Comment: Everybody born in Fiji should be called a Fijian as their nationality not as their race. Of cause an Indian would remain an Indian as a race same as Chinese but will be of Fijian nationality.

Posted By: tailevu kido
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 22:10:02
Comment: @Jesse, how long have you been away from Fiji? You're kinda implying only native Fijians are the one's committing crimes, you obviously have been away from home far too long. Setting up a different state is the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard. Some of you seem to forget that this proposition is not for Indo-Fijians alone, There are several other ethnic minority groups in Fiji. There are Oriental-Fijians, Euro-Fijians, Mixed race and other Pacific islanders who are now Fijian citizens. As for the VKB, I couldn't care less if my name was in that or not. I remember as a kid my parents and grand parents like to make a big fuss about it, but most of us youngsters today couldn't really care. Will that feed my family? No ... will the VKB give me a job? No ... will it get me into a world renowned University? No ... so who cares if you're in the VKB or not. Just looking at Fiji in the past 50 yrs it's obvious very few native-Fijian families have been able to rise above the rest, mainly those holding chiefly titles. I'm sick to death with this bullsh*t, these guys only help each other and couldn't less about the ordinary i'Taukei struggling to feed his/her family. If anyone wants to tell me to have more pride in my heritage, they can kiss my ar*e, I've seen enough of this crap to realise if you're not of a chiefly family, you're treated like crap just like every other ethnic minority group. eg: the country has been in economic decline for the past 8yrs, yet in 2005 they decide to build a new GCC building. What for? What happened to meetings under the mango tree? Come on people, open your eyes, these are the same group that staged the 1987 and 2000 coups. Yeah I said it, because we all know who were puppeteers behind the curtain. VKB? pffft..who cares, they can put my name under a box of cereals...I really couldn't give a damn.

Posted By: Waisea Bula
Posted On: Aug 05 2008 22:30:56
Comment: I total disagree. We are all born from different ethnic backgrounds and people should be proud of it. I am proud to be a Fijian and likewise Indians should proud they are Indians. It is not racist or biased if we classified our ethnic minorities as long people as are proud of their nationality. at the end of the day we all have call Fiji our home. And people must abide, respect, adapt to the Fijian culture and its lifestyle.

Posted By: yesh
Posted On: Aug 06 2008 09:19:13
Comment: Well, my ancestors were Indian. Now, that's not our fault that our ancestors came here to do some hard work so I guess we belong to the country we are born in and therefore that makes me a Fijian. I think a common name should have been set ages ago.

Posted By: ILN
Posted On: Aug 06 2008 13:39:41
Comment: I hope the NCBBF comes up with something like this. For all races born in Fiji, when we are abroad overseas, we should all be called Fijians and referred to as Fijians. When we are in country or talking internally in Fiji, we should refer to our ethnic origin, Indian, Chinese, Fijian etc. The word "iTaukei" means something only to one that reads, writes and understands Fijian. Thus you cannot change the word "Fijian" and replace it with "iTaukein" or "Vitian". Lets put it at rest, when you are abroad overseas, call yourself a Fijian. When in Fiji, refer yourself to your ethnic origin.

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