Monday, March 24, 2008-www.fijitimes.com
A group of villagers in the province of Cakaudrove says their allegiance lies with their paramount chief Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and not with the interim regime.
The villagers of Koroivonu and Vuna, on Taveuni, believe their obedience to the Tui Cakau carries more than backing the People's Charter.
The comments from the villagers follows a split in the province over the Charter.
Some villages have agreed to work with Charter teams while others have banned them.
Ioane Paulo, an elder of Koroivonu, said it was not easy to go against the vanua, especially their paramount chief.
"We are living in rural areas or in the vanua so it is not easy and impossible for us to go against our chief's wishes," he said.
"If he does not support the Charter, we will not support it.
"It's important that we show him our respect and obedience because the vanua will look after the vanua.
"For us to disobey our chief is the most disrespectful thing a Fijian can do, it's just not right," Mr Paulo said.
Vuna Village headman Navitalai Qali said they supported Ratu Naiqama's stand not to accept the Charter and would not allow any committee to visit villages.
He said an elected government should carry out the exercise.
"We will abide by what our chief says and decides because we all want an elected government in power and such an initiative should be undertaken by an elected government," Mr Qali said.
The biggest district, Cakaudrove, which has 14 villages, has opted for the decision made by Ratu Naiqama not to allow or support any Charter teams to the villages.