Tuesday, April 08, 2008
A MEMBER of the Great Council of Chiefs taskforce team is alleged to have forced family members to sign a letter to endorse him as head of their mataqali (clan) so he could be in the Great Council of Chiefs.
Adi Rasagavi Ralogaivau, the elder sister of Ratu Filimoni Ralogaivau said she was pestered by her brother at her home in Raiwaqa to sign the letter.
Ratu Filimoni is a member of the GCC taskforce four-member team. He said he did not know about the issue when he left for Bua at the weekend
Speaking in Fijian, Adi Rasagavi said her brother went to see her last week and told her to sign the letter. When she asked him what the letter was about, Ratu Filimoni told her he will be the head of their clan in Wainunu and needed Adi Rasagavi's signature.
She said he kept on telling her to sign the letter so he could be the head of the Muanaicake clan of Wainunu, Bua.
Adi Rasagavi and her sister, Vilomena Lewakulati went and complained to the Native Land Commission chairman on April 1, and was told to write a letter.
A copy of their letter of complaint obtained by The Fiji Times was addressed to the NLC chairman, Ratu Viliame Tagivetaua. The letter, dated April 2, was written in Fijian and explained how Adi Rasagavi and Mrs Lewakulati were forced by Ratu Filimoni to endorse him head of their clan. They also stated in the letter that they had withdrawn their signature because they felt it should have been discussed by the clan before they could sign anything.
The sisters said in their letter that they were tricked by their brother.
Another close family member who wants to remain anonymous said Adi Rasagavi was older than Ratu Filimoni.
"By right, Ratu Filimoni is third in line to the title, the eldest in the family is Adi Maria Irarerevaki who is in Australia.
"The second in line is Adi Rasagavi," the member said.
The family member said three people had signed the letter and has urged other family members not to do it because it was not right.
"It is immoral and unethical, Ratu Filimoni is just doing it to get into the GCC so he can get some money," the family member said.
Ratu Filimoni denied that he went around forcing his sisters to sign the letter last week.
He said he had no knowledge of the letter and did not want to comment any further. "I don't know anything about the letter," was all he said.
Ratu Viliame said his office had received the letter and they would investigate.
He said in such a circumstance, members of a clan should be consulted and should all agree on who should be their head of clan or chief before a formal letter is submitted to the NLC
Province asked if chiefs installed
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
THE Native Land Commission has written to a provincial council to clarify whether the province's chief has been installed or not.
Roko Tui Serua Vananalagi Vesikula said he would have to liaise with the Vunivalu of Serua Ratu Peni Latianara and his clan about the issue.
"It is a sensitive issue at the moment, I have been asked by NLC to submit a report on the chiefs who are installed, including their title.
"I can only give you details once I have done my findings," he said.
This follows the criteria set by the Great Council of Chiefs taskforce team, which states that only chiefs who are installed and recorded in the NLC records can be included in the new-look GCC.
GCC team taskforce team leader Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo said the criteria would push the provinces and districts to install and formalise the heads of their clan.
"Most of the chiefly titles have been vacant for some time and this criteria will ensure that the traditional titles are filled by the chiefs," Ratu Josateki said.
The GCC taskforce is scheduled to make a presentation to the Serua Provincial Council on Thursday at Navua.
Ratu Josateki said the team would only present to the council what the State had decided on the new-look GCC and ask for the 14 councils to submit three names of chiefs they think should represent them in the chiefs meeting.
He hopes the GCC will meet in June with the chairman and interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
The taskforce team will make their presentations in the Rewa and Tailevu provincial councils next week