A CHIEF has called on the interim Prime Minister to present a traditional apology – or matanigasau – to Fiji’s chiefs before proceeding with any dialogue. The secretary for Cakaudrove’s council of chiefs. Ratu Jekesoni Yavalanavanua, said the proposed chiefs’ assembly organised by the Fijian Affairs Ministry should be the second step taken by the interim regime.
“The chiefs want Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to first apologise to the members of Great Council of Chiefs,” Ratu Jekesoni said. “He should apologise for his harsh words about us, especially telling us to drink home brew under a mango tree.”
Ratu Jekesoni said the chiefs need to go to the assembly with a good heart.
Meanwhile, Ro Teimumu Kepa, the paramount chief of the Burebasaga confederacy, said she had received an invitation to attend the assembly scheduled for next month. “Yes, I’ve received the invite from the interim Prime Minister,” she said. “But I haven’t decided if I’ll attend.” Ro Teimumu reserved comment on the traditional apology mooted by Ratu Jekesoni.
Interim Indigenous Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said the chiefs’ assembly would be held in Suva on December 9 and 10. “The agenda is still being prepared,” Ratu Epeli said. He confirmed invitations have been sent to the chiefs.
Former GCC chairman Ratu Ovini Bokini said he would comment later.
Nadroga high chief Ratu Sakiusa Makutu has yet to receive an invitation although he’s heard about the assembly.
The GCC was suspended by Commodore Bainimarama last year after the GCC rejected the President’s nomination for the vice presidency.