NEWS

Queries Raised Over Mara Children’s No Show at Lau Festival Opening

The absence of the children of the late Tui Nayau, Ratu Kamisese Mara, at the opening of the Adi Natuicake Festival, has raised questions. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama opened the
04 Aug 2017 11:00
Queries Raised Over Mara Children’s No Show at Lau Festival Opening
Women from Moce in their colourful attire and performing their traditional meke during the Adi Natuicake Festival at Kauvesi Park, Raiwai, Suva, on August 3, 2017 . Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

The absence of the children of the late Tui Nayau, Ratu Kamisese Mara, at the opening of the Adi Natuicake Festival, has raised questions.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama opened the festival at Kauvesi Park, Raiwai in Suva on Wednesday.

Sakiusa Yalisaya, of the Matakicicia family under the Vunirewa clan, the official spokespeople (matanivanua) of the Tui Nayau, confirmed that those present had asked the question. He added it was a topic of discussion among those who were at the park.

He said: “We have been talking about this issue. They didn’t turn up on the first day of the festival, we really don’t know what the problem is.”

A daughter of Ratu Sir Kamisese, Adi Koila Nailatikau, refused to comment last night when approached at her residence at Richards Road, Suva.

Her other siblings could not be reached to comment also yesterday.

However, a member of the festival organising committee, Isoa Qilatabu, said sisters Adi Kakua Mara and Adi Elenoa Mara had turned up late yesterday afternoon.

The people of Lau regard this as a special festival because it has been revived after a lapse of 13 years. They aim to raise $250,000 for development in the province.

Mr Yalisaya said they did not know why the Mara children were absent at the opening.

“They should be present here because everything we are doing here is for their family,” Mr Yalisaya said.

But Roko Tui Lau, Ratu Paula Delaivuna, said the people of Lau should understand that the event was not organised for the Mara family.

“This is not done for them, this is done for the province. There is one thing I need to clear. The title of Tui Nayau is still vacant,” Ratu Paula said.

Mata Ni Tikina o Moce, Jiuta Bale, said the Mara children should have been present at the festival opening because of the traditional welcome.

He said it was of cultural significance.

“I have been visiting the sheds here at the festival; the questions they keep raising are why they were not present at the opening.”

The festival rounds up today.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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