NEWS

Row Breaks Out Over Sacred Site

A row has stopped development work on what Tamavua villagers describe as their sacred old village site and burial ground. Spokesperson for the Rokodurucoko clan of Tamavua Village, Kaminieli Tunisau,
28 Jan 2017 11:00
Row Breaks Out Over Sacred Site
Development Dispute . Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

A row has stopped development work on what Tamavua villagers describe as their sacred old village site and burial ground.

Spokesperson for the Rokodurucoko clan of Tamavua Village, Kaminieli Tunisau, said he was only notified about the recent development last Saturday.

“When we went to see the area last Sunday, the bulldozers were clearing the area at the old Tamavua Village site,” he said.

The villagers then stopped the work and waited for further talks with a team from the Fiji Museum which had visited the site on Wednesday.

The team confirmed that it was a burial site.

The clan members said they wanted to protect their old site and they were seeking the assistance of the Government.

“We will take it to court if nothing eventuates and right now we are seeking legal help on the issue,” Mr Tunisau said.

In response, general manager of the developers, Bhindi Brothers, Sagar Dhanji, said they had no plans to bulldoze the area in question.

Mr Dhanji said the development was confined within their boundary, which is freehold boundary.

“We had no plans to bulldoze the area highlighted by the clan and we had told them that we wouldn’t cross the area because it falls outside of our boundary,” he said.

He also confirmed receiving a report from the Fiji Museum stating the area in the sub-divisional plans they had bulldozed was confined to their boundary.

Mr Dhanji said they had respected the wishes of the clan and work had stopped. He said they were seeking legal advice. Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: mere.satakala@fijisun.com.fj

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