Monday, July 18, 2011

Freedom and democracy in Fiji should include rights of indigenous Fijians to their natural resources

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By Pina Wani
Give back to the 416 Clans Qoliqoli Owners the rights and authority that was given back by Queen Victoria in 1881.  Let the 416 clans form joint ventures (jv) with the mining conglomorates in order to have financial authority in our own country. Let us have financial authority apart from political authority. 
Our vanua resources (qoliqoli and land) is the basis for financial authority but it has not been in our hands for all this time, although we have had political authority. The political authorities in the past did not grasp or were overpowered by the demands of the hidden financial authorities.
The past leaders must have accepted that the financial authority should rest with the gujeratis, muslims, valagis etc who utilised our resources. They came up with strategies though laudible but not suited for our clan/traditional make up such as cooperatives, syob, small and micro enterprises etc.
Individual business is okay but what is needed is clan financial control by the 416 taukei clans. Clan and tribal business needs to be run on a jv with congloromates that utilised the value of our resources to access loan funds from financial institutions.
Why are mining companies getting licenses from government, value the untouched minerals under the ground and then register those values on the Stock Exchange to raise funds before they come back to Fiji to invest in order to mine the minerals. These same old!! same old!! ways of the i taukei being fooled with the employment benefits, the free quarters, the insurance etc of this corporate bodies mortgaging our resources for their millions. I am not trying to say that it is bad, however, it is good for the capitalist powers but not for us. However, we are not maximising our God given resources with our financial returns and control.
At least have jvs- joint ventures for the i taukei by providing shares for the $$ value of compensation from ‘kanakana’ resources opportunity foregone due to the mining of minerals, while the mining companies provide the equity cash, expertise, equipments, structure, experience etc.We need financial democracy and not only political democracy.
Keda sa dau vakayagataki tu ga mai liu me baleti ira na tani, 1987, 2000,2006. Oti ga oya e da sa lai pasidia tale tu yani ni sa dua na matanitu vou ka ra sa veiliutaki tale tu kina na kaukauwa sega ni laurai (hidden external forces). Me da saga me sa kua ena gauna qo.
I look forward to a Fiji that embraces Democracy as a whole and not in partial to suit certain communties and forces only. When we want to express our proprietorship rights,we are accused of being racists. Proprietorship rights is linked to financial rights and the benefits are enormous that includes poverty alleviation etc.
In the example of Valolo Gold Mine by blogger Labalaba,i taukei should be aware that the mineral valuation of their land has been put on the Stock Exchange. We need to be aware that political democracy is not the only answer to Fiji’s problem, but should also include financial democracy ie the owners of the resources should also benefit from the profit gained and not only from the limited lease money.


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