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August 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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i-Taukei people should also be given the right to opportunities in all sector, says Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni.

Speaking at the Lau Provincial Council consultation meeting today, Dr Luveni said this is vital and should be included in the new constitution.

She said Fiji has a law that protect indigenous rights but what seems to lack is the right to opportunities to achieve greater things.

Dr Luveni said a good example is enrolment of students at the Fiji School of Medicine.

“Sixty per cent of the FSM students are indo-Fijian while only 29 per cent are i-Taukei while the remaining are others.”

She said the Government is doing all it can to eradicate racial discrimination that is the main cause of Fiji’s instability.

“The Government is taking away policies that support racial discriminations in Fiji.”

“Fiji is different from other parts of the world. Australia is populated by the visitors than the aborigines. The Maori in New Zealand is less compared to the visitors.”

Dr Luveni added that in Fiji’s case 57 per cent are i-Taukei while 37 are indo-Fijian with others as a remainder.

She said everybody seems to concentrate on indigenous right and forget about their right to fair inheritance of opportunity by the Government.

The Council chairman and Minister for Education Filipe Bole said this is to assist  i-Taukei people in development.

Bole said everyone has agreed to the proposals that were tables and comments and submissions are mostly welcomed.

One of the main Issues discussed at the meeting was the need for the review of the constitution after every five years to avoid problems of the past.

Bole said there is always a review provision for all constitution and this can be strengthened by more communication.

A question was also raised about the elections and whether it is confirmed that there will be elections in 2014.

Bole said it is guaranteed as there will be no barrier to the elections.

Representatives from each village in the Lau group flooded the venue with different proposals and unique viewpoints are raised.

A proposal will be compiled together and will be presented to the constitution commission for the council submission on a scheduled time.

The meeting continues and is scheduled to end this afternoon.

By Ropate Valemei


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