Thursday, November 17, 2011

ADDRESS BY THE GONE MARAMA BALE NA ROKO TUI DREKETI

Gone Marama Bale Na Roko Tui Dreketi



A CLARIFICATION OF REWA’S PERSPECTIVE REGARDING THE ILLEGAL OVERTHROW OF THE FIJI GOVERNMENT
DELIVERED AT THE BOSE NI YASANA ‘O REWA
BURENIVUDI, LOMANIKORO, REWA – THURSDAY 16 NOVEMBER, 2011


1.0               INTRODUCTION

1.1               LADIES AND GENTLEMEN MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, THERE IS NOTHING NEW ON EARTH ABOUT DIFFERENCES OF VIEWPOINTS WITHIN ANY MEETING, REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF MEETING. IN FIJI, THERE IS ALSO NOTHING NEW ABOUT DIFFERING VIEWPOINTS BETWEEN TRADITIONAL CULTURAL LEADERS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE VANUA.

1.2               WITHIN THE TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS CULTURAL CONTEXTS THERE ARE VERY CLEAR DEMARCATIONS ABOUT THE RESPECTIVE ROLES WE ACQUIRE AT BIRTH SUCH AS THE DUTIES OF THE SAUTURAGA, THE DUTIES OF THE MATANIVANUA, AND THE DUTIES OF THE BETE, BATI, MATAISAU AND THE GONEDAU.

1.3               IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT DUTY OF ANY TRADITIONAL LEADER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELL BEING AND WELFARE OF THE VANUA.

1.4               THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE WELL BEING OF THE VANUA IS TO BE ACHIEVED BY ILL GOTTEN WAYS AND MEANS THAT MAY BE ILLEGAL BY THE LAWS OF MAN AND WRONG IN THE EYES OF GOD..

1.5               IN MY POSITION AS THE ROKO-TUI DREKETI AND AS THE LEADER OF THE VANUA OF REWA, I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT I FEAR MORE THE GOD I WORSHIP, THAN  THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT I WOULD ATTEMPT BEFORE GOD TO JUSTIFY AN ILLEGAL ACT SUCH AS A COUP.

1.6               I COMMEND TO YOU THAT WE GIVE THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN THE HIGHEST PRIORITY ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THROUGH FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION.

1.7               I ASK YOU AS MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, WHAT IS THE ROKO TUI DREKETI AND MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL TO SAY IF THERE IS ANOTHER COUP TOMORROW? WILL WE THEN BE SUPPORTING THE NEW REGIME? I ASK YOU TO LOOK AT THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND THE WAY IN WHICH THE LIVES OF COUP SUPPORTERS HAVE ENDED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.  HAS ANYONE OF THEM EVER COME TO THE END OF THEIR LIFE IN A QUIET AND PEACEFUL MANNER? 

1.8               THIS IS A QUESTION WE WILL HAVE TO REFER TO THE MEMBERS OF OUR RESPECTIVE TIKINA.

1.9               LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ON THIS ISSUE THE GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS HAS BUT ONE POSITION ON THIS ISSUE. AT THEIR MEETING IN DECEMBER, 2006, AND AGAIN IN APRIL 2007 THE GCC STATED THAT WE ARE IN SUPPORT OF THE RULE OF LAW ABD ABIDE BY THE 1997 CONSTITUTION. ALSO THE SUPREME COURT RULING IN 2009 STATED UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE 2006 COUP WAS AND IS ILLEGAL. THEREFORE WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA CAN REST ASSURED THAT WE STAND ON THE CORRECT AND RIGHTFUL LEGAL AND MORAL GROUND AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE GUIDED BY OUR GOD TO PROVIDE US THE WAY OF LIFE AND TRUTH.

2.0               THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF REWA’S DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER

2.1               YESTERDAY WE WERE ADVISED BY THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER THAT REWA WOULD BE DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING AMOUNTING TO $3 MILLION DOLLARS IF WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE MILITARY REGIME.

2.2               HE ALSO INDICATED THAT FUNDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVINCIAL OFFICE AND ITS WORK PROGRAMME AMOUNTING TO SOME $315,115.00 COULD ALSO BE WITHDRAWN BY THE REGIME SHOULD WE MAINTAIN OUR OPPOSITION.

2.3               ADDITIONALLY WE AS A PROVINCE WOULD ALSO BE DENIED SHARE DIVIDENDS HELD IN FIJIAN HOLDINGS AND YASANA HOLDINGS VALUED AT $1.3 MILLION DOLLARS OR SOME 547,000 SHARES.

2.4               WE HAVE BEEN DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING UNDER THE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME TO THE TUNE OF SOME $100,000.00 ANNUALLY USED FOR BUILDING VILLAGE PATHWAYS, BUYING BRUSH CUTTERS AND ASSISTING WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITY HALLS.

2.5               IF SOME OF THESE POINTS ARE TO TRANSPIRE WE WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE ALL OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROGRAMME EXPENSES AND THUS I STRESS TO YOU THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING OUR TARGETED PROVINCIAL LEVY. (SOLI NI YASANA)


3.0               THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

3.1               MAY I SHARE WITH YOU THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WHATEVER GOVERNMENT  IN POWER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS.

3.2               YESTERDAY WHEN THE DPO SAID ONLY REWA REMAINED IN OPPOSITION, I WANTED TO SHOUT WITH JOY.


3.3               WHETHER A GOVERNMENT IS ELECTED OR NOT, IT MUST LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS WITHOUT FAVOUR, WHETHER WE SUPPORT OR VOTED THAT GOVERNMENT IN OR NOT, THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGED TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF US IN THE SAME WAY.

3.4               THE FACT THAT SOME VILLAGES HAVE BENEFITTED FROM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES WHILE OTHER HAVE NOT IS SOLELY DEPENDENT ON HOW GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTS ITS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES.

4.0               NATIONALLY COMMUNITY NEEDS ARE ENDLESS

4.1               AS RECIPIENTS OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES WE MUST ALSO REALISE THAT NO ONE PERSON OR COMMUNITY IS EVER COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH ALL THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND NO GOVERNMENT CAN EVER FULFILL ALL OUR WISHES.

4.2               HOWEVER A SINGULAR TRUTH I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU IS THAT IT IS ONLY GOD’S KINGDOM THAT CAN EVER COMPLETELY FULFILL ALL OUR NEEDS AND GIVE US PEACE.

5.0               THE DEFINITION OF GOVERNMENT

5.1               YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM THE DPO THAT WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT SO I WANT TO ASK JUST WHO IS OR WHAT COMPRISES GOVERNMENT.  THE EASY ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WOULD BE THE GOVERNMENT CONSIST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR IT, THE CIVIL SERVANTS. THIS IS BECAUSE IT’S THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO VISIT US AND IMPLEMENT THE PROJECTS WE REQUEST. 

5.2               THEREFORE I MUST ASK, DO WE NOT LOOK AFTER THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO COME TO WORK AMONGST US TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES, DO WE NOT COOPERATE WITH THEM AND GIVE THEM FOOD AND SHELTER. AND WHEN THEY RETURN TO THEIR OFFICES DO WE NOT GIFT THEM WITH TOKENS OF APPRECIATION.

5.3               WE HAVE ALWAYS MAINTAINED FRIENDLY AND CORDIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL OF THE CIVIL SERVANTS SENT TO WORK WITH US AND THEY HAVE ALWAYS EXPRESSED THEIR GRATITUDE AS THEY ARE SIMPLY IMPLEMENTING THE WORK FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID.

6.0               REWA’S CONTRIBUTION TO GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

6.1               WE CAN SEE THAT WHILE GOVERNMENT HAS ITS ROLE, WE AS CITIZENS ALSO HAVE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES. IT IS ALSO INCUMBENT ON US THE PEOPLE OF REWA TO WORK HARD TO PAY OUR PERSONAL AND OTHER APPLICABLE TAXES LEVIED WITHIN OUR PROVINCE SO THAT GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO COLLECT REVENUE TO DEVELOP OUR PROVINCES.

6.2               WE ALSO PROVIDE OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS TO GOVERNMENT TO ENABLE IT TO DO ITS WORK, IN PARTICULAR WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIVEN THE LAND ON WHICH  THE CAPITAL CITY IS SITUATED.  WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA ENABLE GOVERNMENT AND BIG BUSINESSES TO CREATE COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES AND LARGE SUMS OF MONEY.  IT SHOULD NOT BE FORGOTTEN THAT THIS IS WHAT THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIFTED TO OUR BELOVED FIJI. 


7.0               WE DO NOT HATE CIVIL SERVANTS OR THE GOVERNMENT

7.1               IT MUST BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT WE DO NOT HARBOUR ANIMOSITY TOWARDS THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO GIVE OF THEIR TIME AND RESOURCES AND WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE OUR VERY BEST TO MAKE THEIR TIME OF SERVICE WITH US AN  ENJOYABLE AND MEMORABLE OCCASION BY GIVING OF OUR HUMBLE BEST.

7.2               WE ALSO DO NOT HARBOUR ANY ANIMOSITY TOWARD ANY GOVERNMENT THAT HAS COME INTO POWER ELECTED OR OTHERWISE AS LONG AS THAT GOVERNMENT HAS FULFILLED ITS BASIC DUTY OF SEEING TO OUR WELFARE AND BY PROVIDING SOUND ADVICE AND LEADERSHIP TO US ALL.

7.3               NEVER BEFORE IN OUR HISTORY HAS A CIVIL SERVANT FROM ANOTHER PROVINCE  PUBLICLY BERATED US IN OUR OWN PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING.  PERHAPS IT IS A SIGN OF THE CHANGING TIMES THAT HE NOW SEES IT FIT TO GROSSLY OVERSTEP THE BOUNDS OF TRADITIONAL AND CULTURAL PROTOCOL AND BEHAVE IN SUCH AN APPALLING AND BOORISH MANNER IN OUR PROVINCIAL COUNCIL.

8.0               WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS

8.1               OUR COUNTRY HAS SUFFERED MANY COUPS AND WE HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM THE SUCCESSIVE COUPS. PERHAPS THE ONE CLEAR THING WE HAVE LEARNED AFTER ALL THESE COUPS IS THAT A COUP WILL ALWAYS HINDER PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT.

8.2               AT THIS POINT IN OUR HISTORY WE CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY THAT COUPS CONTRIBUTE NOTHING POSITIVE TO OUR SOCIETY AND WILL ALWAYS RESULT IN IMPEDING PROGRESS.

9.0               THE BASIS OF OUR OPPOSITION

9.1               THE REASON WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE REGIME AND THE COUP IS BECAUSE WE CAN SEE NO GOOD CAN COME OF IT, ONLY GRAVE DIFFICULTIES. THEREFORE WE CAN SAY THAT WE NEVER WANT TO EXPERIENCE ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

9.2               IF IT FALLS ON REWA TO EXPRESS THIS OPINION TO THE CURRENT REGIME LEADERSHIP, SO BE IT. LET THERE BE NO CONFUSION, REWA IS OPPOSED TO ANY COUP.

9.3               WE CAN NOW SEE THAT OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO FACE EXTREME DIFFICULTIES IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS AND A COUP CULTURE.


10.0            LET US ALWAYS SUPPORT THE TRUTH

10.1            THIS MORNING I WISH TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT IT IS OUR MORAL DUTY TO SUPPORT THE TRUTH AND THAT WE DO NOT EVER WANT TO SEE THE OVERTHROW OF A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

10.2            IF WE SUPPORT THE 2006 COUP, IT IMPLIES THAT IN THE FUTURE IF ANYONE DOES NOT LIKE THE LEGALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT, WE WILL AGAIN HAVE ANOTHER COUP.

10.3            WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS THAT A COUP CULTURE IS WRONG, IF WE DO NOT EXPRESS OUR HONEST OPINION AND EARNEST OPPOSITION TO COUPS.

10.4            WE DO NOT HATE THE GOVERNMENT PER SE, BUT WE ARE TRULY SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS AND CAN NO LONGER MEEKLY FOLLOW ALONG.



11.0            MISTAKES THAT COMMENCED IN 1987

11.1            WE WILL LEAD OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS ASTRAY IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS. I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU THIS MORNING THAT WE STARTED TO GO ASTRAY AS A COUNTY IN 1987.  MY YOUNGEST CHILD IS 25 YEARS OLD AND WAS BORN IN 1986, AND SHE HAS KNOWN NOTHING BUT THE COUP CULTURE. WE MUST STATE NOW AND FOR ALL TIME THAT THE COUP IS WRONG AND CAN NEVER BE MADE RIGHT SO THAT WE DO NOT CONTINUE ALONG THAT PATH

11.2            IT IS TIME TO TELL THIS GOVERNMENT THAT WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE COUP AND OUR SOLDIERS MUST GIVE THEIR SOLEMN OATH TO THE VANUA THAT THEY WILL NEVER EVER IMPLEMENT ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

11.3            TOGETHER WITH THE LEADERS OF THE REGIME WE MUST RENEW AND CLEAR OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE IN ORDER TO AGREE ON A PROCESS TO RETURN OUR NATION TO A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

11.4            LAST BUT NOT LEAST I HAVE A PERSONAL REQUEST – “IF YOU COME TO ARREST ME, DON’T COME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, I AM AN OLD WOMAN, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL ME OR SEND ONE PERSON. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEND 16 MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONELL TO ARREST ME.”

11.5            TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL, I MERELY WISH TO RESPOND TO THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER REGARDING OUR POSITION – THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH. 

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