The arbitrary scrapping of the Great Council of Chiefs by the interim administration is an outrageous attack on the paramount institution of the iTaukeis.
The GCC or the Bose Levu Vakaturaga has always been an institution highly revered by the indigenous community. It is of historic significance having served as an advisory body to successive governments since the colonial times.
Admittedly, the Council had displayed political leanings after the 1987 coups but so did the military.
The Reeves Commission addressed this issue comprehensively in its report and suggested the composition of the GCC be changed to reflect its “contemporary role” as an advisory body. It is a pity that these recommendations were not taken on board by the Rabuka Government at the time.
The GCC, as an institution, was given due recognition in the 1970 and 1997 Constitutions with the full endorsement of the leaders of all the communities.
The dissolution of the GCC at a time when we are about to begin the constitutional process is surprising, to say the least. It is a matter which the indigenous people themselves should have the right to decide.