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Chiefs applaud decision

Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

MACUATA chiefs have applauded the Government's decision to shelve the proposed village bylaws.

Tui Namuka Ratu Tevita Niumataiwalu described the decision as most suitable for iTaukei communities. "We, the iTaukei communities are born with our own culture and identity which includes rules and laws which we know as manners," he said.

Ratu Tevita said iTaukei villagers know their way of life and how to respect the vanua. "So we didn't need a village bylaw to help us govern ourselves because our respect and lifestyle is instilled in us."

Ratu Tevita and the people of Namuka did not agree to have the village bylaws and they also made this known during the public consultations in Labasa last year.

Tui Nadogo Ratu Ilisaniti Malodali believes that every iTaukei person knows their roles in villages.

"We know what to do when we walk into a village or our roles if we live in the village," he said.

"Our respect for the vanua and our culture are part of us, it's instilled in us from birth and we grow up knowing what our culture is.

"We are so happy that the Government has decided to shelve the proposed village bylaws because we have our set of traditional guidelines that keeps us on track."

Last week, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama told villagers of Natewa in Cakaudrove during a talanoa session that the proposed village bylaws had been shelved.

He said plans to have the village bylaws, to govern the villagers, surfaced following pleas from the iTaukei communities to have such documents.

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