Fijians have indicated that legislation should be introduced that safeguards the sanctity of the Great Council of Chiefs, despite the political divides on the matter.
Highlighting this to FijiLive, prominent Suva lawyer and legal advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs Review Committee, Graham Leung said quite a number of submissions they received state that the GCC should be legislated in a way that future Governments are not able to remove it when they feel like doing so.
“A Great Council of Chiefs is perceived to endure in perpetuity, so to speak… which has been quite a common theme. The reason for this is there is a lot of passion or feeling that the GCC is the institution which many indigenous Fijians can relate too.”
Leung said the GCC is the embodiment or the custodian of values, traditions or customs that the i-Taukei’s have historically looked up to for more than 100 years.
He said this has been the view in the 13 provinces that the GCC Review Team has conducted public consultations with.
He also mentioned that Review Team has collected over 800 or so submissions and are yet to sit and break down the suggestions and contributions made by the public and provincial councils.
“The GCC Review Team will carefully review, analyse the views and suggestions provided… If the people decide to re-establish the GCC, it would be politically neutral, concentrating solely on matters that relate to the Vanua.”
Leung said while this is a British ideology to look after the interest of indigenous Fijians – Fiji is now a multi-racial or a multi-ethnic society, how can the GCC serve all in a new environment.
This morning, the team held its second last consultation with the Lau Province in Suva.
Tomorrow the consultation will end with two sessions in Kadavu.