FIJIANS SHOULD FORM HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP, ACADEMIC JOZANA SAYS

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 31, 2002 – Radio Australia)---A London-based African academic has proposed that indigenous Fijians should form their own human rights group.

As Radio Australia correspondent Ofa Kaukimoce reports, the proposal is contained in a report submitted to key Fijian political and decision-making institutions.

"Professor Mabuyeso Jozana is originally from South Africa and compiled the report on his own volition.

"The academic says the proposed human rights organization is to promote, protect and advance the rights of the indigenous Fijian civil society through litigation, training, education, research and peaceful campaigns within the limits of the law.

"Professor Jozanas report says priority must be given to those who have been disadvantaged by a long history of discrimination and exploitation.

"The proposed organization should also forge a spirit of cooperation with government structures, Fijian NGOs, the Fiji Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman, and other public bodies, including the Great Council of Chiefs.

"These organizations should all promote peace and a Pacific settlement" of disputes and conflicts.

"However, Professor Jozana says his proposed human rights organization should not accept any donation from the government and has labeled existing human rights organizations around the world as lacking "proper powers."

"For Radio Australia news, I’m Ofa Kaukimoce."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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