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Tavua Peace Attempts Fail

Attempts by the Tui Tavua, Ratu Nacanieli Uqeuqe yesterday to hold reconciliation talks for rival factions in his deeply divided village yesterday failed. Tavualevu Village Methodist Church steward Apimeleki Tovi
06 Feb 2017 11:00
Tavua Peace Attempts Fail
Villagers of Tavualevu Village in Tavua in front of the Methodist Church chapel. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Attempts by the Tui Tavua, Ratu Nacanieli Uqeuqe yesterday to hold reconciliation talks for rival factions in his deeply divided village yesterday failed.

Tavualevu Village Methodist Church steward Apimeleki Tovi said yesterday: “The vanua is still hurt at this moment.

“The damage is still there. I believe that there should be a huge deliberation.”

The row broke out last week over the destruction of a religious monument erected by the Methodist Church members in the village in front of their chapel.

The destruction was carried out by some villagers on the instruction of Ratu Nacanieli who had been influenced by the Nausori-based Healing the Land Ministry.

A ministry’s group was in Tavualevu to conduct a fast and prayer session on the invitation of Ratu Nacanieli to cleanse the village of “demonic” influence and restore their blessings.

Ratu Nacanieli had wanted his people to reconcile over their differences. He could not be reached to comment yesterday but the

Vanua o Tavua secretary Meli Bari said: “Ratu did not call for a church service but called on the vanua of Tavua to make themselves available and seek to sort out their differences.

“Ratu has been calling the people to come since Wednesday and sort it out but they are not coming forward. After the church service, few visited Ratu and asked for forgiveness from Ratu. This is our family issue especially for us in Tavua that we heed the call of Tui Tavua.”

Mr Bari said he had no idea why Tui Tavua did not attend yesterday’s normal Methodist Church service. Ratu Nacanieli usually attends.

Mr Tovu said it would be in the best interest for the villagers to speak within their families first, their mataqali.

“Once all is sorted then include the Methodist Church.”

When he spoke to the Fiji Sun earlier, Ratu Nacanieli insisted: “We didn’t do anything to break the law. Roko Tui Ba and Police officers showed their concern on the problem we face here in the vanua,” he said.

“The other faction is not coming to the negotiating table and they use all the other tactics. My job is to lead the people for them to prosper.”

Meanwhile, the director for the Healing the Land Ministry, Savenaca Nakauyaca, said people were just commenting on the destruction of the monument and not appreciating the blessings that were now happening in Tavua.

“For quite a long time, the ocean has been dry, fishes and bech-de-mer were long gone. Now they are being restored miraculously on their shores,” he said.

Mr Nakauyaca and his group were invited to Tavua for the ‘Vakabula Vanua’ (Healing the Land) by the Tui Tavua, Ratu Nacanieli Nauqeuqe, since June last year.

“We made arrangements and agreed to be in Tavualevu village on the 10th of January for the Vakabula Vanua,” he said.

The group was there for two straight weeks for ministry work.

“The tension in the village now is because of the monument that was destroyed, it was in front of the Methodist church in Tavualevu village,” he said.

The monument has been there from last year and according to Mr Nakauyaca, Tui Tavua was against the building of the monument after a Healing, Cleansing and Revival programme (veivakasavasavataki) by the Methodist Church.

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