NEWS

PM Cancels London Trip

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has cancelled his trip to London for the Queen’s birthday celebrations after the death of two of his chiefly allies. One was his chief, the Roko
05 May 2016 10:15
PM Cancels London Trip
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with women and children in Natauloa village in Nairai yesterday. Photo: Maika Bolatiki

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has cancelled his trip to London for the Queen’s birthday celebrations after the death of two of his chiefly allies.

One was his chief, the Roko Tui Kiuva, Ratu Tevita Tawake, in Tailevu.  Ratu Tevita died yesterday at Kiuva aged 88.

The second was the Tui Tavuki, Ratu Joni Duikete, 69, of Kadavu. Ratu Joni died on Sunday in Suva after an illness.

Mr Bainimarama said he would be represented in London by the Fijian High Commissioner there, Jitoko Tikolevu, the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto and the RFMF band. Members of the band flew out of Nadi yesterday. Full report, pages 22, 23

He paid tribute to the chiefs yesterday during a tour of Batiki and Nairai islands in the Lomaiviti group.

The chiefs’ unwavering support helped Mr Bainimarama during some of the most difficult moments of his leadership.

Ratu Tevita stood by Mr Bainimarama when some chiefs in Tailevu had opposed him, especially after the abolition of the Great Council of Chiefs.

Ratu Joni was prominent in advocating FijiFirst policies when a significant number of people in Kadavu, as reflected in the 2014 polling results, had supported SODELPA.

Mr Bainimarama treasurers his traditional link with the Vanua of Kiuva where he is from. He also values the moral support that Ratu

Tevita had provided him.

He expressed his gratitude to Ratu Joni for his support.

Ratu Tevita had invited Mr Bainimarama to a thanksgiving service in November 2014 at Kiuva.

Ratu Tevita, who also holds the title Taukei Vunileba, said then he and Kiuva were proud to have one of their sons leading the nation.

He reminded the PM of his traditional role as the chiefly warrior.

He said the PM’s firm and strong leadership in the past eight years was good for the country and they hoped this would continue during his next four years as Prime Minister of Fiji.

Ratu Tevita reminded the PM that God  would be with him and the people of Kiuva would support him all the time.

His funeral arrangements are still being worked out.

Meanwhile, SODELPA MP and Kadavu chief Ratu Sela Nanovo will lead a contingent that will accompany the casket carrying Ratu Joni’s body back to Kadavu on Tuesday next week.

The funeral is set for Wednesday and the contingent returns to Suva on Thursday.

Ratu Joni is survived by his wife Bulou Lusiana Nagatalevu, four children and three grandchildren.

Villagers apologise

Mr Bainimarama accepted  an apology from Waitoga villagers in Nairai yesterday in the traditional manner.

In the 2014 general election, they voted for SODELPA’s MP Anare Vadei. But Mr Bainimarama said ticks did not matter to him because Government developments would continue.

He donated a fiberglass boat and engine to the local school and approved two chainsaws. He reminded villagers about the housing card to rebuild damaged homes after Cyclone Winston.

The new law requires no giving of false information in the applications for assistance.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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