Thursday, November 05, 2009

Illegal President Sworn in by Illegal CJ

Ratu Epeli in high office

www.fijitimes.com - Monika Singh
Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sai's Comments:

  • It is a sad day for Fiji when a Chief takes up a position with an illegal regime. Fijians would be very sad that Ratu Epeli had not chosen to exert any influence on the military regime of Voreqe to retun Fiji to democratic rule. This is no doubt something all Fijians would have expected from a chief and one with such a chiefly lineage as Ratu Epeli.
  • But equally sad, we all know that, Ratu Epeli has come to be a follower not a leader such that he has not got anymore influence over Voreqe the day the coup was carried out in 2006.
  • Fijians will cast a wry smile every time he is ferried around in his motorcade knowing he got there after being rejected by his fellow chiefs on being sponsored by Voreqe.
  • The sooner a new democratic government is returned in Fiji Ratu Epeli should do the honourable thing - to pack his bags as he does not have the confidence of the people but only the illegal military regime of Voreqe.

RATU Epeli Nailatikau will be sworn in today as President in place of Ratu Josefa Iloilo who resigned in September.

Ratu Epeli is a chief from the Naisogolaca household on Bau Island and is married to Adi Koila, daughter of former president and prime minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

Ratu Epeli rose through the ranks of the military to become commander.

In 1979, he commanded the 1st Battalion, Fiji Infantry Regiment (1FIR) when it joined the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon.

He was removed from the position when Lieutenant-Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka overthrew Dr Timoci Bavadra's Labour Coalition government in 1987.

Ratu Epeli was Fiji's ambassador to the Court of St James. On his return, he held several posts in the Foreign Service before becoming Speaker of the House and a special United Nations ambassador for HIV-AIDS. He held a number of Cabinet portfolios in various governments.

Educated at Draiba Fijian, Levuka Public and Queen Victoria School, Ratu Epeli joined the army and served in Malaysia on secondment to the New Zealand Defence Force during confrontations with Indonesia in the 1960s.

He is the second eldest son of the late Ratu Sir Edward Cakobau, who commanded the Fiji Battalion in the Solomons in World War II and became deputy prime minister in Ratu Mara's government.

Ratu Sir Edward was the eldest son of George IV of Tonga, grandfather of the current king, George Tupou II. His mother was Adi Litia Cakobau, daughter of Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua of the Vunivalu mataqali of Bau.

First President of Fiji: Ratu Sir Penaia Kanatabatu Ganilau (1987- 1993)

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara (1993-2000)

Ratu Josefa Iloilo (2000-2009)

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