Ultimately, the best guarantor of the rule of law is not the state and the branches which comprise it but the recognition by people of its value and their willingness to fight for, and uphold it.
It will be impossible to achieve this (keeping the people together) if the elders and chiefs have their own way and are too proud of their chiefly status to not bring themselves down to the people.
For it is only when we all believe that the Constitution and the rule of law protects all our people and their rights, can these guarantors of rights be assured.
Indigenous rights are those, which relate to indigenous people, their way of life, their land and their resources. They are connected in nature and the birthrights of indigenous people.
We all belong to this country, what are we going to call ourselves? Recognizing the sensibilities of most indigenous people here about the term 'Fijian', let us find some other name. But let us not leave it unresolved because it is an important symbol of belonging here.
We celebrate who we are although we come from different communities. We are one nation, one people. We have differences and these cause problems and tension at times but we are not on the brink of inter ethnic strife.
There is some suggestion that the Fijian model ought to be adopted as being the first people, the host culture, the landowners and the majority of the population. I have no issue with that proposition, so long as it is acceptable to all other communities as well.
Part of them (citizens of Fiji) wishes to believe that we are all one people and as a nation must move forward together. Another part of them is fearful that the hand they extend in friendship will be either spurned or crushed.
At times some of our leaders send messages that people of one single race are important and they matter only. It undermines the very fabric of our society and hurts feelings and creates a feeling of not belonging for some people.
Our country needs visionary and far-sighted leaders. People who appreciate and understand that our lives are inexplicably linked and our futures tied together. The vision must be one that is inclusive and open to everyone. It is a matter of enlightening self-interest.
To say that power should have been returned to the Fijian chiefs is to ignore what occurred between 1874 and 1970.
Should we retain our national flag that conveys historical continuity from the days of the Cakobau government to the period of British Colonial rule, or is it time for a new one?
It is easy to decry the nature of ethnic politics in this country. We are hostages to history and the ethnic compartmentalisation that began in the colonial era.
The essence of traditional leadership is learned by osmosis. The next generation learns from what their elders and the current generation does. This was appropriate in a society where the pace of change was gradual.
Back then (in 1985) the issue of the day was nuclear testing, now we are faced with problems such as climate change, overfishing, deforestation, shipments of radioactive materials through Pacific waters and nuclear proliferation. We need to remain vigilant so that we won't become victims again.