Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tui Cakau's Call to Reconvene GCC and for Equal Treatment Under the Law

Below is Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu’s speech at the recent launch of the Crime Free Day at Somosomo on 22 June. The illegal  regime did not allow the Fiji media to publish it. A copy of the speech will also be posted on the Cakaudrove website Cakaudrove Online

The theme of the Tui Cakau's speech was “CREATING CRIME FREE COMMUNITIES”:


The Acting PM and Minister of Defense, Police Commissioner, Commissioner Northern, State officials, Religious Leaders Members of the Business Community, Turaga ei na Marama, Kemunu ai Taba Gone, Students and children……..Nu sa bula vina’a and Namaste

2.0    PURPOSE OF EVENT        

2.1    We are gathered in large numbers today to launch a programme which will benefit One and All.

2.2    We thank the Police Commissioner and the members of the Police Force for continuing the efforts previously undertaken under Australian aid and known as Community Policing.

2.3    Maintaining and improving safety and security in Fiji is not only limited to the urban centres; we, in the rural areas and communities have also been faced with the need to improve our own safety and security. 

2.4    Crime has developed into one of the most critical concerns in our Fiji.

2.5    We should all therefore applaud the efforts taken by the Community Policing Unit in Fiji in inviting us, rural communities, leaders and members to join them in the Fiji campaign of Crime Free communities.


3.1    Community Policing simply means that we, the people, and the police work together in partnership to prevent crime in our society or communities.

3.2    Addressing crimes cannot be the sole responsibility of our Police Force. 

3.3    The rate in which crimes are committed in Fiji, our local communities, warrants the peoples’ involvement.

3.4    In the colonial years, it was common to find internal controls and safety nets in both the traditional Fijian setting as well as in the Indian setting….these forms of internal control assist in preventing crime as well as in the provision of support to victims of crimes.

3.5    Times have changed and these internal controls that prevent crime as well as the concerns and care extended to victims are fast eroding in our societies today.


4.1    If we are to continue enjoying life without worrying about the safety and security of our families and neighbours, then we need to be more vigilant in what is happening around our own communities.

4.2    We need to all come together and work towards preventing crime in our community. 

4.3    The presence of the Police Commissioner today endorses the importance and the priority with which the Fiji Police Force wishes to engage and work with communities in their endeavour to bring about crime free communities.   


5.1    So what am I talking about to you today? Crime prevention is the attempt to reduce victimisation and to deter crime and criminals. 

5.2    It is concerned with any initiative or policy which reduces or eliminates the aggregate level of victimisation or the risk of individual criminal participation.

5.3    The Crime Free campaign which is being launched today is part of this policy. 

5.4    Today we are witnessing the launching of the joint police force and community-based programmes to reduce the incident of risk factors correlated to criminal participation, the rate of victimisation as well as changing peoples’ perception in fighting against crime. 


6.1    Studies around the world have shown that governments must go beyond law enforcement and criminal justice to tackle the risk factors that cause crime because it is more cost effective and leads to greater social benefits than the standard ways of responding to crime.

6.2    The World Health Organisation Guide (2004) complements the World Report on Violence and Health and the World Health Assembly Resolution 56-24 for governments to implement nine recommendations to tackle the risk factors that cause crime:

Create, implement and monitor a national action plan for violence prevention.

Enhance capacity for collecting data on violence.

Define priorities for, and support research on, the causes, consequences, costs and prevention of violence.

Promote primary prevention responses.

Strengthen responses for victims of violence.

Integrate violence prevention into social and educational policies and thereby promote gender and social equality.

Increase collaboration and exchange of information on violence prevention. 

Promote and monitor adherance to international treaties, laws and other mechanisms to protect human rights

Seek practical, internationally agreed responses to the global drugs and global arms trade.

6.3    The Community Policing in Fiji together with many NGOs in Fiji are targetting programs to meet the needs of youths at risk as well as women and children who are vulnerable to violence.

6.4    However, for the program to succeed across the country, a coalition of key agencies including people in the communities, villages, housing and law enforcement must work together to reduce crimes in our communities.


7.1    The elements of crime which are by and large understood well in the communities are:

Desire or motivation on the part of the offender or criminal

The skills and tools needed to commit the crime

The Opportunity to commit the crime.

7.2    We can all participate in preventing crime through reducing the opportunities to commit crime.


8.1    For example, through individual or family efforts, individual factors such as attachment to schools and involvement in pro-social activities decrease the probability of criminal involvement.

8.2    Family level factors such as consistent parenting skills similarly reduce individual level risk. Risk factors are additive in nature. The greater the number of risk factors present, the greater the risk of criminal involvement.


9.1    There are also initiaves which seek to alter the rates of crime at the community level.

For example:

changing the policy of police response to domestic violence demonstrated that the policy of police response to domestic violence calls altered the probability of subsequent violence. 

Furthermore, the policing of hot spots, areas of known criminal activities, decrease the number of criminal events reported to Police in those areas. 

Initiatives including community policing efforts to capture known criminal also reduce criminal activities.

Social programs focused on youths at risk including those who drop out of school and those involved in gangs have been shown to significantly reduce crime. 

Law enforcement at neighbourhoods where crime rates are high have also achieved large reductions in crime and violence. 


10.1    In this joint venture that we are embarking together with the Fiji Police Force, there are certain roles and expectations expected from us, the members of the various communities in Taveuni/Vanua of Cakau for purposes of protecting our properties and values as well as to make our communities a more pleasant place to live.

10.2    I urge you all to co-operate with the detailed rights, duties and obligations expected from each one of us, for our common good.

10.3    Whist our Community Police in conjunction with community and traditional leaders will provide you details of these expectations, I would like to address two basic issues.


11.1    Firstly, that the head of every household is responsible and liable for the actions of all the occupants of their home, including all members of his family, relatives, guests, baby-sitters, employees, pets, tenants and agents.

11.2    The onus therefore is on the head of the household to ensure that:

the childen’s and women’s safety remain priority at all times, 

family members attend the programmes conducted by the Church, local schools and government agencies to inculcate values of ‘good neighbours’, 

they support the community social programmes which will involve our youths including the school drop outs, 

they rigorously support efforts aimed at ensuring the Police presence in hot spots for criminal activities,

they support efforts to ensure that the Police enforcement procedures are in tune with the needs of our communities. 

11.3    Our endeavour to join in partnership with the Fiji Police in the Community Policing programme will only be successful if we all value and perform what is expected from each one of us for Our Common good.


12.1    In the Fijian Way of Life, “working collectively together for the common and greater good” is referred to as Solesolevaki. Fijians achieve a lot more under the practice or custom of “solesolevaki”.

12.2    Let us All come together, members of the communities in Taveuni/Vanua of Cakau, leaders of all communities and work together as one.

12.3    Let us support our Community Police in their endeavour to make our communities and our homes be places of comfort and peace.

12.4    We can all do this successfully if we all join hands and resources and take ownership  of the initiative– Let us call our efforts Operation Solesolevaki.


13.1    The second issue which I wish to raise is to do with the laws of our country, our homeland. We, the people of Fiji, irrespective of colour or creed, Fiji is our country and we are all equal citizens of Fiji.

13.2    The laws of Fiji apply equally to all of us. 

13.3    It is important that all citizens of this country should have faith in our law enforcement procedures.

13.4    In the colonial days, the laws of this country equally applied to one and sundry. Even one of my ancestors Tui Cakau was exiled into the Colo areas for offences which he had committed and not forgetting the one speaking before you now in 2005. Likewise, other Chiefs of Fiji were imprisoned for offences which they had committed.

13.5    The equal application of laws to all the citizens of this country will bring about confidence in our Laws, as well as the law enforcement processes led by our Police Force, and in our leaders and subsequently the stability of our country.

13.6    Fiji has been troubled with the repeating cycles of coup d’aets   An effective starting point for reconciliation is to treat all perpetrators of the coup d’aets equally, through providing immunity cover to one and all. Various levels of reconciliation will need to be worked one, for example, for those who have been ill-affected and demoralised in one way or other, with those responsible for these hardships, as well as the reconciliation amongst our leaders with their different ideologies which have subsequently resulted in the coup d’aets.


14.1    Let us learn to forgive one another, let us learn to accept one another, let us move away from the firmly embedded grounds we have placed ourselves in. Let us once again show that in the Pacific Way, the Fijian Way, the Christian and other Religious Ways the Universal Way of peace making, the common element in all these is to engage in dialogue on issues which have deeply troubled us.

14.2    It is only in engaging in dialogue, when, we will have better understanding of each other and TOGETHER forge new ground rules to make our Fiji a safe place to live in, attractive to investors and businesses, instilling confidence in our Parliamentarians and in every citizen of our beloved Fiji.

14.3    The hard core issues need to be discussed and the re-convening of the Great Council of Chiefs for all the people of Fiji is the best place to begin this process.  

14.4    I will request you Commissioner of Police to convey the request   from Lalagavesi to Commodore Bainimarama, “Allow the Chiefs of Fiji to come together and discuss the reconciliation plan for the people of Fiji.” Most people have been aggrieved one way or the other, some Chiefs themselves have turned against each other, the leaders of other communities have also embarked on different bandwagons, there is a need for a massive reconciliation right across Fiji. This process will heal the hurts and pains which people have harboured all these years.”  

14.4    Commissioner, our gathering here today only brings to mind two great historical events of Taveuni and that is when the Holy Spirit saved Tui Cakau from the Tongans in a fierce battle around 1862 otherwise not only the Vanua of Cakau or Bua and Macuata and most probably the whole of Fiji would have been under Tongan rule had it not for the show of faith and divine intervention which still very much happens to this day and the second event is that this where the day ends and new day begins and it is in that light and spirit of a new dawn together with our firm belief and faith that Commissioner it is my gracious wish that the process of reconciliation begins in this country NOW.

The people of Fiji have a destiny for each other……….to support and help each other in our times of needs. Likewise we, the people of Taveuni/Vanua of Cakau have a destiny for each other, Let us continue to make Taveuni/Vanua of Cakau not only a Beautiful Island/Vanua of Fiji, but a safe and comfortable place to live in.

I thank you once again Commissioner of Police, State officials, Members of the Business Community, Turaga ei na Marama, Kemunu ai Taba Gone, Students and children……..

I am honoured and it is indeed my pleasure to launch the Crime Free Campaign for Taveuni/Vanua of Cakau or Operation Solesolevaki.



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