Bainimarama at the behest of Khaiyum (and others) have succeeded thus far in the cultural genocide of the Indigenous Fijian identity.
These 3 entities close to the hearts of the Indigenous Fijian are the Lotu (religion), Matanitu (Government - both traditional and modern) and the Vanua (land, people and culture) --- all 3 institutions have been battered by the regime. The value system associated with the cherishing of these entities are both traditional as well as evolutionary ideals of the Indigenous Fijian's history (namely Lotu and modern Matanitu).
Land which is the heart and soul of the Indigenous Fijian identity is considered something where the community (ie communal groupings such as tokatoka, mataqali, yavusa) are responsible for its stewardship. It is Land (Vanua) that defines Indigenous Fijian communities in terms of history, traditional borders, traditonal relationships and our customs. The concept of ownership of land and the associated linkages to land as a commodity (and the associated material wealth) was introduced by the colonisers.
The concept of Communalism in Fiji revolves around sharing, cooperation, compromise and a symbiotic respect for the Land (and Sea) which drove the need to only have enough (ie enough fish or produce for today) and the outright rejection of hoarding because of its association to the trait of Greed.
The kerekere system which is now being ignorantly rubbished by the regime and their supporters also has it's roots deeply embedded within the spirit of Fijian Communalism -- to kerekere was a sincere plea for assistance (not to be confused with begging as is the uninformed norm).
Because the community was based on sharing, everything was communally owned and no one possessed exclusive rights over any property. A kerekere would be difficult to refuse because in the wisdom of the Indigenous Fijian mind, no one was immune to tough times and therefore everyone would at some point kerekere.
Put into perspective the thinking around Individualism, and it is clear just how at odds this worldview is in the mind of the Indigenous Fijian.
The latest of these episodes pushing the individualistic agenda in Coup ridden Fiji concerns our Land. We have no doubt that the idea of packaging land as a bankable commodity, aimed at stripping away our communal heritage in order to promote individualism is being bulldozed by the illegal and treasonous Khaiyum and others at the helm.
The emotional issue of land, long a rallying point for politicans is now at the front and centre periphery of the Indigenous Fijian.
The fact that the Indigenous Fijian is watching the developments calmly for now is an indication of just how adept politicians of old had used this issue for political point-scoring. However what also lies beneath the calm exterior is the growing anxiety and ire that decisions on land are made without proper consultation, without the perceived wisdom guidance of their Chiefs (Matanitu) and no engagement whatsoever from the Lotu.
There is hope however in nullifying this flawed World Bank driven agenda. Communalism and the power of numbers is the bedrock of Democracy. If 90% of land in Fiji is communally owned, we can vote this illegal and treasonous policy out by considering the following:
- All Landowners should and must refuse to deposit the management (perceived ownership) of their land in the Land Bank;
- All Landowners should and must heed and laud alternative views (non-capitalist driven) about the wisdom of Pacific Customary Land ownership and join alliances supporting these views;
- All Landowners (especially those dotting all corners of the globe) should and must step in to eradicate the pressure from military regime that is aimed at compelling more land deposits into their Land Bank (please note that of particular interest to the regime and the opportunisits would be land that has mining potential -- noticeably the original pitch for "idle land" for sugar is no longer valid);
- All Landowners should and must re-educate their kith and kin on the wisdom and merits of the values associated with Fijian Communalism.
- Furthermore all landowners may want to consider the merits of organic agriculture which can feed the world and keep the land alive.