Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cakaudrove Snubs GCC Taskforce

Province snubs GCC

SERAFINA SILAITOGA - www.fijitimes.com
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

THE province of Cakaudrove will not join the restructured Great Council of Chiefs because the interim regime has already stated that their high chief, the Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, was not eligible to be a member.

Speaking on behalf of Ratu Naiqama, provincial spokesman and mata ni vanua Epeli Matata said that if Ratu Naiqama could not become a member of the GCC, then it was disrespectful for other chiefs in the province to join the council.

"We will not join the GCC if our high chief will not join because it will be disrespectful.

"In fact, we have three representatives from the province to the GCC and Ratu Naiqama is a member.

"So, if he is not allowed to join by the regime, then there will be no other rep from Cakaudrove province," Mr Matata said.

He said that for the 14 chiefs of Cakaudrove province, only three had been installed including Ratu Naiqama.

"The others are Tui Vaturova Ratu Wilisoni Matakibau and Tui Nasavusavu Ratu Suliano Naulu.

"We will only join the GCC if the interim regime allows our high chief to be a member."

Mr Matata said if the interim regime did not change its stand, then the province would not be members of the council at all.

He said the new council of chiefs would not have many members because a handful of chiefs have not been installed in their provinces.

"Who are the installed chiefs in Fiji? Hardly any chief has been installed traditionally so it will definitely affect the membership of the GCC.

"The whole of Cakaudrove province know that whatever the Tui Cakau says or wants will be followed and according to the interim regime's review that he cannot be a member of the GCC, the other installed chiefs will not join too.

"We call it domo dua which means one voice and which is the voice of Ratu Naiqama.

"If he cannot be a member of the GCC, then why should the other chiefs in the province join?"

Mr Matata said Cakaudrove province had not changed its stand on the People's Charter proposed by the interim regime.

"In fact, we had waited for a charter team to arrive in our tikina meeting two weeks ago but no one came.

"If they had come, we would have told them straight that they were not welcome in the 14 villages of Cakaudrove.

"We have not changed our stand on the charter and will remain that way as our high chief has said."

Two weeks ago, a group of villagers in Cakaudrove had stated that it was more important to obey their high chief than to acknowledge the proposed People's Charter.

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