NEWS

Suvavou Villagers: Don’t Touch Ancestral Burial Site

The comments came as more than 200 Suvavou villagers presented a petition to the Suva City Council signed by at least 1000 villagers who are objecting to the Government’s decision to lease the carpark area to the Indian Government.
26 Feb 2019 12:30
Suvavou Villagers: Don’t Touch Ancestral Burial Site
Suvavou Villagers with their signed petition outside the Suva City Council office on February 25, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Suvavou villagers have called on Government not to touch their ancestors’ burial site at Suva’s Thurston Gardens to make way for a chancery for the Indian High Commission.

The villagers say to go ahead with the work would amount to desecration of their ancestry and heritage.

The comments came as more than 200 Suvavou villagers presented a petition to the Suva City Council signed by at least 1000 villagers who are objecting to the Government’s decision to lease the carpark area to the Indian Government.

Spokesperson Josefa Navara asked the Government to look deeper into the historical status of their so-called ancestral land.

“The Fijian Government wants to convert our historical village and burial site to accommodate the new Indian High Commission,” he said.

“Please do not touch our ancestor’s burial site because we honour and respect it.”

Mr Navara added that the continuous support from Opposition members of Parliament has proved a success towards their petition.

“We are thankful to the members of Parliament Niko Nawaikula and Ro Filipe Tuisawau. They are voicing our petition to Government and for regular visits to the village. They are asking Government to consider not only the Thurston garden, but the whole Suva peninsula,” he said.

He maintains that the villagers would rather have regular meetings and discuss issues with Government and the SCC rather than see the issue evolve into lengthy legal action.

SCC chief executive officer Bijay Chand advised the villagers that a cover letter and a proposal would be sent to the Ministry of Local Government stating the villagers request for a no-touch policy on Thurston Gardens and other areas around it to build the Indian embassy.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedbacksimione.haranavanua@fijisun.com.fj

 

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