Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna (middle).
The revival of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day reaffirms the rights of indigenous people, ensuring the preservation of their cultural institutions and heritages.
This, according to former civil servant and retired diplomat Emitai Boladuadua.
He says this is in accordance with international conventions such as the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169 and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People.
Boladuadua states that his revival pays homage to the legacy of Ratu Sukuna, a revered figure known for his distinguished scholarship, military prowess, and statesmanship.
He highlighted that Ratu Sukuna played a pivotal role in fostering the economic development of the colony, particularly through the cultivation of sugar and related agro-based industries.
“This he did when he made possible the opening of indigenous Fijian traditional land for all those who needed land. The benefits of the opening of the iTaukei land supported the country reach development in the 1950’s and 1960’s as Fiji moved towards independence.”
Boladuadua emphasized the importance of honouring Ratu Sukuna’s contributions and the need to reinstate the commemoration of Ratu Sukuna Day.
He stated that the revival of this significant day not only serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of indigenous Fijians but also highlights their rights in accordance with international norms.
Boladuadua stressed that the celebration of Ratu Sukuna Day provides an opportunity to educate younger generations about the life and accomplishments of this great man, ensuring that his legacy endures.
With the revival of this historic day, Fiji takes a significant stride towards honouring its past, educating its present, and safeguarding its future.