Fiji Time: 8:39 AM on Saturday 23 May

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Indigenous rights protected in draft

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

INDIGENOUS rights was one of the main issues highlighted during the draft constitution consultations in Nadi on Monday.

Concerns were raised by many people on whether native rights were protected in the document.

"If you look at the non-discriminatory provision in section 26, you did not have culture before, you now have culture. You did not have social origin before. Now you have social origin," said Attorney-General and Minister for Electoral Reform Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

"A lot of people talk about the International Declaration of Indigenous Rights. Unfortunately, a lot of people talk about it but they don't really know why it started. Fiji is one of very few places where the indigenous population owns 91 per cent of the land and they've actually had political control of the country.

"You cannot discriminate against anybody on the basis of their culture.

"The 1997 Constitution did not provide you that safeguard and that provision, as you know, is now under the draft and if the draft becomes the new constitution, your cultural rights cannot be taken away from you. It's protected in every single law.

"It's not just in the Native Lands Trust Act or whatever.

"If we make any law regarding women, garbage collection, whatever it maybe, it is protected in the constitution."





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Reds lose to Sharks as O'Connor howler spoils chances of comeback
  2. Chiefs down Bulls for Super Rugby bonus-point win
  3. Acts of will
  4. A-G files petition
  5. End of an era
  6. Proposed airport site leased out
  7. Bleak future
  8. Parliament passes Bill
  9. Crusaders, Tahs face crucial clash
  10. Land use concern

Top Stories this Week

  1. USA wins London 7s Monday (18 May)
  2. Heroes of the night Friday (22 May)
  3. Dream run Tuesday (19 May)
  4. Champions Monday (18 May)
  5. Tuwai wins top award Tuesday (19 May)
  6. Payout for team Thursday (21 May)
  7. Top cop foils robbery attempt Friday (22 May)
  8. Ratu Naiqama suspended Friday (22 May)
  9. Behind closed doors Tuesday (19 May)
  10. Probe on officials Wednesday (20 May)