24 Oct 2013

Sodelpa says term Fijian not universally accepted

4:27 pm on 24 October 2013

A member of Fiji's Sodelpa Party, Dr Tupeni Baba, says the decision to use the name Fijian for all citizens raises questions about land ownership and rights for indigenous Fijians.

Three years ago, the government decreed that iTaukei replace the word Fijian or indigenous or indigenous Fijian in all written documents.

The regime has also decided that all citizens be called Fijian.

But Dr Baba says many do not want the name Fijian because it implies they are taking over from indigenous people.

"'Various changes in the constitution about ownership of land, about group rights, all these things would have to take place to ensure that this name doesn't interfere with the ownership of land with the institutions and other things that relates specifically to indigenous peoples.'"

Dr Tupeni Baba says the name Fijian has been imposed on everybody without consultation and it's impossible to assume everyone agrees.