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 Ratu Wiliame: Chiefs Have Unifying Role

 Ratu Wiliame: Chiefs Have Unifying Role
The chiefly Caumatalevu clan from Naduri performing the traditional installation of the Tui Labasa with the Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere (third from left) to serve Ratu Jone Qomate (right) the chiefly cup of yaqona that confirms his investiture as the Tui Labasa at Naseakula Village on August 31, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka
September 01
10:00 2018


Chiefs have an important role in nation-building and uni­fying the vanua, village and the nation as a whole, says Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katoni­vere.

Before handing the kava bowl to traditionally anoint Ratu Jone Qo­mate as Tui Labasa at Naseakula Village yesterday, Ratu Wiliame encouraged the vanua to work to­gether and acknowledge God in everything they did.

He said he was humbled by the ceremony.

“Your duties as a traditional ruler of this village are multiple, ranging from maintenance of social norms to provision of basic social ameni­ties for my people to creating politi­cal awareness among my subjects,” Ratu Wiliame said.

“Being a traditional ruler, you should open yourself up to all males and females whose rights have been trampled on by other members of the village.

“You will also receive complaints from some members of the village about theft and quarrels over farm land.

“Receive help from elders to make a serious effort to settle the conflict­ing parties by making references to traditional rules as regards land ownership or traditional marriage procedures.

“Enjoy the opportunity of being a Tui Labasa, the position gives you the chance to be chairperson of functions that take place in the vil­lage and the vanua; you deem that as a big honour and an opportunity to promote peace and a co-operative spirit among subjects,” he said.

Ratu Wiliame said the ceremony meant unity and brought about oneness to the vanua.

He encouraged the vanua of La­basa to work together as a family and in unity.

“On the whole, however, you should consider your performance quite satisfactory. There have been only a few instances in which ap­peals to the paramount chief or the traditional courts have set aside my judgements,” he said.

“It is part of Fijian protocol be­cause by right, the Tui Macuata al­ways serves the bowl of yaqona to the Tui Labasa and that is why they had to approach me and ask me to perform this highly-respected duty in installing our chief.”

Ratu Wiliame and his people of Naduri traditionally installed the Tui Labasa.

57-year-old Ratu Jone succeeded Marama Tui Labasa Adi Salanieta Tuilomaloma Qomate Ritova, who died at Labasa Hospital in Novem­ber 2016 after a short illness.

He is a son of Ratu Joeli Qomate who held the title from 1997 to 2004. Ratu Joeli succeeded his older brother Senator Ratu Tevita Qo­mate, who died in July 1997.

He is a former employee of Elec­tricity Fiji Limited (EFL), married to Elenoa Vakaloloma and has two children.

The chiefly tribe from Naduri put the vesa (tapa shell armband) on Ratu Jone to show his high status in the vanua.

Edited by Epineri Vula



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