back to new archives for 15-17 June 2000
FijiLive
Board clears air on statement
Saturday, June 17, 2000

THE Native Lands Trust Board yesterday clarified the "Deed of Sovereignty" document it prepared is not aimed at discrediting the military.

Public relations officer Sireli Korovulavula in a letter to the Daily Post gave the reasons for distributing the document.

Paramount on the list of reasons is to obtain the views of all chiefs on the objectives of the document.
This is to be followed up with further consultation and will hopefully result in a formal submission to the Board.

After deliberating, the Board finds the submissions favourable it will then bring the submissions to the Great Council of Chiefs for it's consideration.

The Board wishes to state quite categorically that the document is not aimed against the sterling work done by the Fiji Military Forces is trying to bring about some order following the crisis of May 19.

It is also not aimed against any organisation that might think that its deficiencies and shortcomings have become more pronounced by the
contents of the document," said Mr Korovulavula.

The document, Mr Korovulavula said is divided into two parts.

The first deals with the returning of sovereign rights and the governance of Fiji to its traditional chiefs. According to Mr Korovulavula the traditional chiefs of Fiji are represented by the GCC.

It was their predecessors who ceded their Matanitu Vakavanua to Britain under the Deed of Cession in 1874.

This was done with the understanding that their land and its control would be returned to them at independence.

Mr Korovulavula said the Taukei Civilian Government referred to in the document is not same one commonly referred to by the same name in the media.

He said it refers to a government to be set up at the pleasure and the blessings of the QCC.

"This government must uphold the paramountcy of indigenous Fijians and also protect the interest of all citizens.

"This government must consist of persons with meritorious integrity. Such persons must have faith and trust of the vanua, academic quali5cation, professional expertise, good financial status and matured social repertoire.

"The Deed of Sovereignty, therefore, refers to a Taukei Civilian government with the assurance that it will assume sovereignty from our chiefs.

Fiji's Daily Post

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