NATION

Ratu Filimoni Is Installed Tui Ba

Newly-installed Tui Ba Ratu Filimoni Lagivola Nale yesterday described his installation not as a symbol of power but a declaration of hope for the future of his people. “Today is
04 Jun 2016 10:39
Ratu Filimoni Is Installed Tui Ba
Newly-installed Tui Ba Ratu Filimoni Lagivola Nale (middle), makes his way to the chiefly house following his installation yesterday. Photo: Charles Chambers

Newly-installed Tui Ba Ratu Filimoni Lagivola Nale yesterday described his installation not as a symbol of power but a declaration of hope for the future of his people.

“Today is a declaration of hope for the people of Ba, that by God’s grace and mercy, I may be given years to reign and serve you as your chief,” he said.

Ratu Filimoni also called on his people to leave the past problems behind and support the present Government for their own development.

“Government is leading Fiji in the right direction and this was the opportune time for everyone to follow and support it.”

Ratu Filimoni, 71, was installed in a solemn, yet simple ceremony at Sorokoba Village in Ba yesterday.

The position became vacant in 2013 when the then Tui Ba, Ratu Sairusi Nagagavoka, died.

Hundreds of villagers, including those from around the country, Ministry of iTaukei Affairs officials led by the Deputy Permanent Secretary Saimoni Waibuta, Marama na Tui Ba Adi  Laite Koto Koroirua, chiefs from other parts of Fiji, senior Police officers and invited guests attended the event.

Ratu Filimoni, in traditional costumes, was led from his house along a pathway laid out of masi material into the shed where the installation ceremony was held.

After a prayer and words from Reverend Jiuta Volaubalavu, Ratu Filimoni drank the bowl of kava given by the sauturaga Sairusi Naliva, signalling his installation as Tui Ba.

Sivo Nadumu of the bati (warrior) clan for the Tui Ba and also the Roko Tui Macuata then placed the hat, or Sivo, made of masi on his head.

Marama Tui Ba Adi Laite then offered her congratulations and uttered some words of encouragement and advice to Ratu Filimoni.

The newly-installed Tui Ba was then escorted into the chiefly house where he changed his attire into a yellow bula shirt and sulu vakataga and then made his way to a shed where his people and guests awaited him.

“Throughout the day I have been uplifted and sustained by the knowledge that your thoughts and prayers are with me all the time,” the newly-installed Tui Ba said.

Ratu Filimoni said he always knew that the people supported him.

“I ask that we may continue to work and support each other in peace and prosperity for all of us.”

The day concluded with feasting on the village green and dancing through to the evening.

 

Some chiefly titles

still disputed

Disputes within chiefly households continue to be the main reason for chiefly titles being vacant.

The iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission were still waiting for those positions to be filled but consensus by all members of that particular vanua has been forthcoming.

iTaukei Affairs Deputy PS Waibuta confirmed there were some disputes but hoped the vanua could work around it and come to a combined decision.

He said talks were still ongoing between his ministry, the Commission and the vanua on all chiefly titles still vacant.

“It is a good sign today where there is good support from the vanua,” Mr Waibuta said.

“The decision on who becomes chief lies with the vanua.”

Mr Waibuta said once a decision is made, the name is sent to the Commission for confirmation and then this is relayed back to the vanua.

“We want the vanua of all places where the titles are still vacant to come to an agreement.”

Mr Waibuta said once chiefs are nominated, they are expected to go through a programme detailed mainly on their role as head of the vanua.

“The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs is looking to have good leadership from the chiefs.”

“We still have a few ongoing disputes but the commission is working on resolving these issues.”

Mr Waibuta was also on hand yesterday to witness the installation of Tui Ba Ratu Filimoni Lagivola Nale at Sorokoba Village in Ba.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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