According to MacDougal

According to MacDougal (2010) modernisation and industrialisation developmental models have often resulted in the destruction of ethnic minorities political, economic, social, cultural, education, health, spiritual and indigenous knowledge systems as well as extraction of their natural resources. Notable examples of the problem between dominant development models and minority peoples are that ethnic minorities have often been regarded as backward, primitive and uncivilized, and their development is understood to be their assimilation into the so called civilized systems. Ethnic minorities’ cultural values and norms are usually taken as challenges to the values of the market economy which include the maximisation of profits, high levels of consumption and competitiveness. Ethnic minorities are seen as obstacles to progress or development because their lands and territories are rich in resources and they usually are not willing to pave way for developmental or commercial activities. In many countries, the history and the continuing practice of assimilation has resulted in blanket public policies that have excluded minorities and are discriminatory with respect to their cultures and identities.
Various literary works have also brought to light the issue of development and ethnic minority. They have tried to conceptualise development that is more feasible for ethnic minorities which may differ from the common development models. Loury (2000) also notes that the need to realise economic growth at all costs is not only destructive for ethnic minorities but also to the rest of the world. The focus on GDP as a main measure of development has distorted the true meaning of progress and wellbeing. For example, damage to the natural environment and the erosion of cultural and linguistic diversity and indigenous traditional knowledge are usually excluded when measuring progress. Such ecological, cultural, social and spiritual indicators, which provide more comprehensive measurements of national and global situations, are not often used.
He further notes that ethnic minorities’ conceptualisation of well-being are sustainability, self-determination and development with culture and identity. The failure of the dominant development paradigm, as evidenced by the perennial global developmental challenges like climate change and the erosion of biological diversity, signals the need to resort to different minds when pursuing development. Development that embraces both culture and identity is characterized by an integrative approach that builds on collective rights, security and greater control and self-governance of territories and natural resources. It builds on tradition, with respect for ancestors, but is also forward-looking. It includes social, cultural, political and spiritual systems.
Robinson (2002 ethnic minorities conceptualisation of development have a number of common characteristics which include the importance of collective economic actors and community economic institutions integrity of indigenous governance, purpose of production should not only be considered in terms of profit but rather in terms of improving quality of life enriching the notion of development where human beings are in harmony with the natural environment, self-determination interaction between people, resources and the spiritual aspects of life
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to Religious Linguistic and Ethnic Minorities (1992) serves to provide the grounds upon which ethnic minorities can ascertain their rights and define their aspirations in their relations with states and corporations around development with culture and identity. The declaration also provides states with an internationally accepted guideline on the issues of development and ethnic minorities
The Declaration recognizes that ethnic minorities have the right to self-determination and that states have to take into consideration the reality and that persons belonging to minority groups struggle in market driven economies. Policies, institutions and systems established by states for developmental purposes must cater for diversity and plurality and the coexistence of indigenous governance, economic, social, education, cultural, and knowledge systems right to self-determination. The declaration further states that in their quest for well-being and sustainability ethnic minorities should reassert their identities by restoring and revitalizing their cultures, priorities and perspectives. This is in accordance with their rights enshrined in the Declaration and other international human rights standards. A developmental process that encompasses culture and identity can be further strengthened through cooperation amongst minorities, academics, governments, United Nations bodies and NGOs. If applied in the correct manner this cooperation can be beneficial not only to the empowered minorities and their cultures but also for developing and having a positive impact on the broader society and environment
Gay MacDougal (2010) also points to the plight of ethnic minorities as he notes that minority groups are most likely to be subject to discrimination and to disadvantage in the society. He also points out that the dire situation of so many ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities is often exacerbated by numerous and complex factors. Discrimination and inequality circumscribe every aspect of their life opportunities. They are often denied equal access to quality education. When their rights are violated, recourse to institutions of justice is often a distant possibility. He also adds that disadvantaged minorities are commonly poorly represented in political structures and decision making bodies and consequently have little control over decision that affect them. Lacking a voice in shaping their own circumstances, they are vulnerable to neglect. And when problems arise these communities are most likely to be at the back of the line for humanitarian assistance, if not totally forgotten. Ethnic minorities can easily become invisible members of the society rather than becoming the focus of attention which makes it easy to be unaware of the their situations
According to PANOS Oral Testimony (2005) the BaTonga are a unique tribe that today is still holding to its own traditional cultural beliefs, life styles, customs, and survival despite threats of modern day life .They were a group that was fairly isolated from other ethnic groups. Dale Kenmare also noted that the attachment of the BaTonga to the Zambezi when he points out that when they were displaced from the valley it marked the end of their culture after resettlement Tonga history has been written as dead
Joann McGregor (2009) asserts that the Tonga have been laden with myths and stereotypes. It has been labelled as backward and stagnant. There are legends which have portrayed the BaTonga as a human species that has two toes and a tail. Some legends have also alleged that Tonga elders smoke cannabis freely despite it being illegal. Such labelling has undermined the Tonga social fabric as well as their capability to develop.
After reviewing various pieces of literature it is evident that most works have been largely dedicated to highlight the plight of ethnic minorities. Literature has portrayed ethnic minorities as victims of marginalization and discrimination which as threatened their identity thus hampering development. Ethnic minorities have also been presented as people who are voiceless and whose rights are violated often. Moreover some literary works have aided the stereotyping of these ethnic minorities as they have labelled them as backward and ignorant towards modern day development. This also brings to light the argument that does the underdevelopment witnessed by ethnic minorities originates from within them or has its roots outside. Literature has also brought to light that ethnic minorities development cannot be largely hinged upon dominant development paradigm but that they are different approaches which can be taken to suit their needs. Literature has also brought into the limelight the conceptual issues which are associated with development and ethnic minorities which are:
• Development with identity and culture
• Participation and integration
• Self determination
• Development in harmony with nature and environmental sustainability
• Local development that is development with the locally available resources
As far as the Tonga is concerned literature has been largely two dimensional. Some have largely dwelt upon the process of relocation hailing it as a successful move towards development not considering the plight of the BaTonga. This study will take a neutral dimension taking into consideration the critical aspects like the influence of place on a people. The study will also provide information that is recent. The study will also not be limited to the point of view which only portrays the BaTonga as victims of the displacement and relocation but as an ethnic minority. It will acknowledge that it is now over five decades after the experience thus it will seek to answer different questions like what has been done ensure development of the Tonga as social fabric entity not just their area of inhabitancy.


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