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Respect bylaws

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

EVEN if the village bylaws are not legally binding, it should be respected as they keep the order in iTaukei villages, says the roko tui Macuata Sitiveni Lalibuli.

Speaking on the concerns raised by some iTaukei women groups that village bylaws were more restrictive to them while iTaukei men had all the freedom, he said the women were the treasures of any iTaukei village.

Mr Lalibuli said this was the reason bylaws were more inclined to protect women because they portrayed the general outlook of any iTaukei village.

"In the wider sense, village bylaws were initially constructed to maintain order and peace in any village setting and even though they are not legally binding, it must be adhered to and respected as a sign of respect for the sanctity of iTaukei culture," said Mr Lalibuli.

Speaking on the same issue, acting roko tui Cakaudrove Bulutani Matai said they recognised the difference and that iTaukei village bylaws were more restrictive on women compared to their male counterparts.

"The Cakaudrove Provincial Council office will ensure that equality is maintained and encoded through our village bylaws and we will make sure that this is addressed in our awareness programs," said Mr Matai.

"Even though these bylaws are not legal instruments, it is only fair that people recognise that there are laws and rules set up in iTaukei villages to specify the order of things in the village setting and it is only respectable that we adhere to this rules. "It is only good to let common sense and goodwill prevail for the good of the iTaukei communities that is very much a part of all of us," he said.

Fijian Affairs Board provincial services division manager Timoci Namotu confirmed on Monday that village bylaws were not legally binding on any person as they had not been gazetted as legal instruments.


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