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The full role of the Itaukei Trust Fund Board questioned in parliament

The full role of the Itaukei Trust Fund Board questioned in parliament

By Iva Danford
Monday 25/05/2020
SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula says that the Itaukei Trust Fund Board is not doing enough to take into account the history of the Itaukei culture however the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Nawaikula has misled parliament again.

This was highlighted when Parliament debated on the Report on Annual Review of the iTaukei Trust Fund Board, 2017.

Nawaikula says the fear is that if enough is not done, the Itaukei will lose their language and they will lose their stories of the meke.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Itaukei Institute of Language and Culture has been going out to each province and landowning units and documenting cultural practices that have been taking place.

Sayed-Khaiyum says cultural mapping exercises has been done and Nawaikula knows this but continues to mislead parliament.

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says that in collaboration with the Itaukei Institute of Language and Culture, two new comics of Fijian Folk tales are being illustrated and three new new short bilingual books have been published.

Bainimarama says the books will be launched and sold. He says this is the result of the information text awareness project run in collaboration with the International Literacy Association.

He says the Fijian government has outlined in its 5 year and 10 year nation development plan, the key development priorities which includes the promotion and protecting of the unique iTaukei culture.

Meanwhile, SODELPA’s Adi Litia Qionibaravi pleaded with the Prime Minister that there is a need to review the program of action with the Itaukei Trust Fund.

Adi Litia says the report noted that the core business of the Fund is to enhance, enrich and to promote the quality of life and culture, leadership, entrepreneurial knowledge on the skills of the Itaukei and the Rotumans.

She says it has moved away from the initial focus of the establishment of the Trusts, which it was suppose to look very closely into how indigenous Fijian or the first people of the nation can protect and promote the traditions and culture.

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