NEWS

Father’s Death Inspired Sons To Join RFMF

Private Malase Rawaileba will not forget the tragic end of his father’s life at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua during the 2000 mutiny. His father, Republic of the Fiji
25 Dec 2016 11:09
Father’s Death Inspired Sons To Join RFMF
Liku Veilewai in her new home yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Private Malase Rawaileba will not forget the tragic end of his father’s life at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua during the 2000 mutiny.

His father, Republic of the Fiji Military Forces, Lance Corporal Simione Rawaileba of Lomainasau Village in Tailevu, was among the six loyal soldiers and Police killed while on duty during the upheavals of 2000.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, handed over houses to two families who lost their loved ones in 2000.

Lance Corporal Rawaileba was shot by rebels at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks on November 2, 2000.

“I was two-years-old when my father died, I still remember that I used ask my mother where my dad was because I didn’t understand what happened to him since I was just a toddler.

“It is a painful experience to lose someone whom we looked up to for inspiration, at the age of four I finally understood what happened to my man, from then I reminded myself that I will never forget that day,” Private Rawaileba said.

He said the death of his father inspired him and his brother to join RFMF.

“I want to continue my father’s legacy, to serve my country and people, I take my father’s name with me in everything I do but sometimes I sit and wish that he was still around to see how far his children have reached in life,” Private Rawaileba said.

His mother, 46 –year-old, Salanieta Rawaileba, thanked Prime Minister Bainimarama and his Government for their new house.

“This house will remind me of my husband, his hard work and the sacrifice he made to serve our nation and its people, and he will always remain in our hearts forever,” she said.

“I have seen how my five children struggled when my husband’s life was taken away during the 2000 mutiny.

“I had to step up to both roles of a father and mother to them, the thoughts of losing still brings tears to me and my children,” the woman from Yasawa said.

Mrs Rawaileba said she still remembered the day the news of her husband’s death was relayed to her.

“I still remember that day; it was like someone stabbing a knife right through my heart that is how painful it is but I had to pick myself up because of my children,” she said.

 

The officers who were killed in the 2000 political crisis were:

May 28, 2000- Police Corporal Filipo Seavula, who was shot by rebel soldiers and supporters outside the then Parliamentary complex in Nasese.

August 8, 2000 – Police Corporal Raj Kumar, ambushed by rebel soldiers while on patrol at the hills of Naitasiri.

Military Private Joela Weleilakeba, was ambushed by rebel soldiers in Naitasiri. He was on patrol with Police Corporal Raj Kumar,

November 2, 2000- Private Jone Veilewai, was shot dead on the head while working on his desk. He was unarmed;

Lance Corporal Simione Rawaileba was shot on the head while sleeping. He was not feeling well that morning while on guard and had taken his midday rest when he got killed;

Private Orisi Rokosirinavosa, was also shot in the head while trying to secure the National Operation Centre.

All three loyal soldiers died instantly during the attempted mutiny by rebel soldiers at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks (QEB) in Nabua, Suva.

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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