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Remembering A Statesman

Remembering A Statesman
Ratu Sukuna Memorial School students participate in the traditional welcome during the Ratu Sukuna Day celebration at Nabua on May 25, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua
May 26
13:12 2018


Students, parents and teachers gathered at Ratu Sukuna Memorial School (RSMS) yesterday to commemorate the life of the late Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.

This year’s theme is, ‘na vanua kei na veiwekani’.

Chief guest Meleti Bainimarama, the Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, said the celebration was not only about a visionary leader, statesman and scholar but a man who had the foresight to set up the Native Land Trust Board (now the iTaukei Land Trust Board).

The provision of a TLTB would enable iTaukei people to safeguard their heritage (land) in the future.

“This is one of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna’s greatest achievements and is one of the reasons we are commemorating this momentous occasion,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He delved further into this topic, discussing the Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB), which is a form of iTaukei registration.

“This is significant to us iTaukei people because it enables us to document and safeguard our heritage linking us to our natural resources and our relationship with each other.”

This act carried out by Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna was not only for the benefit of the iTaukei, but also allowed other ethnic communities to effectively use their land and giving back to the economic development.

Mr Bainimarama also said Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna was an exemplary role model, and challenged everyone to be better in the way that they served and strengthened their relationship with each other.

RSMS principal Napolioni Silatolu spoke briefly about the special event.

“This year we are going back to our culture, our roots and traditions. We want to see whether students still understand the importance of culture and traditions, especially how we are able to incorporate in our daily lives,” he said.

Mr Silatolu said culture was not only about traditions, and customs, but also relating with one another and having a friendly relationship with other ethnicities.

His message to all the students was to know what Ratu Sukuna actually stood for, his views on the iTaukei livelihood and the important pillars of lotu (Christian church), vanua (Fijian culture) and matanitu (government).

“I think it is important that we look after our relationship with each other and that is all about the vanua,” Mr Silatolu said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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