September 17, 2012

Rewa submission asks for 1997 constitution to be reinstated

Publish date/time: 15/09/2012 [09:09]

The head of the Burebasaga confederacy and paramount chief of Rewa, Ro Teimumu Kepa today asked for the 1997 constitution to be reinstated as part of her submission to the Constitution Commission.

Ro Teimumu presented the submission signed by her, Na Tui Noco, Ratu Isoa Damudamu, Na i Liuliu ni Sau Turaga, Ro Dona Takalaiyale, Ratu Luke Vuidreketi, Na Tui Toga, Ratu Meli Todua, Saiasi Navulagilagi, Na Tui Suva, Metuisela Mudunavosa, Joave Tukitoga, Ratu Timoci Matanitobua and Ratu Kevueli Tavainavesi.

They say that they speak on behalf of the people of Rewa and the 1997 constitution is the instrument the people of the province believe best protects the interests of the indigenous Fijians as well as protecting the rights of the races that have come to call Fiji home.

Ro Teimumu and the nine chiefs from Rewa say just as amnesty was denied to the perpetrators of the 2000 coup, so should it be denied to the perpetrators of the 2006 coup and any persons planning similar activities at any time in the future.

They say substantive steps should be taken to end, once and for all the coup culture in Fiji.

The chiefs say the staging of coups within the Rewa province has resulted in abject poverty and the denial of opportunities and it has brought about arrogance and the dismissal of rights and privileges.

The Rewa chiefs led by Ro Teimumu also told the commission in Noco today that they wish to reaffirm that Fiji is a country firmly rooted in Christian beliefs, meaning that Fiji emulates and observes Christian teachings.

He said the Christian faith is the hope, the keel and the compass by which Fiji’s ship of state sails.

Ro Teimumu and the chiefs say the entrenched legislations requiring the consent of the senate members nominated by the Great Council of Chiefs must be a requirement before any legislation is passed regarding any issues affecting the rights and resources of the indigenous Fijians.

They also strongly advocate the protection of the indigenous ways of life including all of the previous laws and regulations relating to land rights, fisheries rights, culture, language and all the intellectual property rights the indigenous people of Fiji hold sacred.

The chiefs from Rewa want the House of Representatives and senate in place. They strongly oppose the federal system as implemented in the US where the President is empowered to hand pick the members of the cabinet.

The chiefs say cabinet members must be comprised of the parliamentary members.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

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