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Everybody is a migrant, says Usamate


Sep 18, 2017 12:44:58 PM

Everybody is a migrant, says Usamate Everybody including the iTaukei community in Fiji are migrants, says Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate.

Speaking in Parliament, Minister Usamate said one must accept the idea they are migrants since no one was created here, and once this fact has been accepted -the country will grow.

“iTaukei are migrants, we were not created here, and we all came from somewhere else, what we need to be able to realize is that we need to see all of ourselves as migrants  and you know this country will only become strong when we can all see ourselves as part of this country.”

In light of the Opposition’s statements on the Government being anti-itaukei,  Usamate said iTaukei institutions are solid.

“We have the iTaukei Affairs Board, provincial councils, tikina council, Native Land Commission, iTaukei trust fund.”

Usamate said the lands are also protected under the 2013 Constitution so instances such as what happened in Momi and Denarau does not happen again.

“iTaukei land is now, only now protected by the 2013 Constitution,  we will never ever repeat the shenanigans of the past governments as seen in Denarau and Momi,” said Usamate.

A claim by Niko Nawaikula’s that landowners are not well informed were also refuted by Minister Usamate in his address. 

“The honourable Nawaikula has talked about the need for free and prior informed concept, I want the people of Fiji and I want the people of this house to know that this principle is being practiced effectively right now.”

“The consultations are carried out at various levels, from the provincial, tikina to village level and consultations are compulsory for the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.”

“Free and prior informed is now a compulsory exercise by the Ministry of iTaukei affairs.  iTaukei are being consulted and they are being informed and their prior concerns sort,” said Usamate.

He also spoke about the respect chiefs are given even without the GCC and that the existence of the fact that the iTaukei language is still spoken is an indication of the preserved iTaukei interests.

“We still speak our language in this country, we worship in our language, we still do what we do.”

Minister Usamate said the public will not be fooled as they witness the disarray amongst the members of the Opposition.

He said that the public is not blind to the differences between the Opposition and the Government.

“The people of Fiji will not be fooled; they know who is looking after their interest. They see they hear, they watch the leaders of the different parties and those pretending to be leaders,” said Usamate.

He said the contradicting stands on certain issues, quarreling over petty issues and confusion demonstrated by the Opposition is all in public’s eye.

“They watch the squabbles on one side and the solid vision to build Fiji on the other hand. They see the unprecedented passion on one hand and the disarray on the other side.”

He backed his argument with the inconsistency in opinion towards climate change from the Opposition side.

“They see for instance seat number 3 on the front row say that climate change is a hoax while seat number 1 says it is true, complete disarray.  The people see the disarray, they know,” said Usamate.

The Minister concluded by exclaiming that the change NFP is talking about is already here.

“The honourable Pramod Chand said that change is coming he missed the bus, the change is already here.”

By Avneel Abhishay


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