Fiji Times News
by SERAFINA SILAITOGA
TEARS and solemn moments marked the opening of the Cakaudrove chiefs' meeting yesterday as chairman and former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka asked their paramount chief Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu for forgiveness.
With tears flowing down his face, Mr Rabuka in a solemn and respectful tone asked Ratu Naiqama to forgive him and Roko Tui Cakaudrove Ravuso Wainiqolo for organising the provincial council meeting at Yaroi Village last year, which Ratu Naiqama did not want.
In presenting their soro, Mr Rabuka admitted that it was wrong of him and Mr Wainoqolo to organise the meeting and entertain the Great Council of Chiefs committee at Yaroi. He said even after organising the events, he used to hear and read messages from Ratu Naiqama in the media over his disappointment. This, Mr Rabuka said, did not scare him but made him determined and humbled to come forward and present a matanigasau for his wrong. He told Ratu Naiqama that word from Valelevu which he heard in the media only spoke of how powerful and respected the Tui Cakau's position was and for any Cakaudrove person to hear such words, it meant that he was cared for by their high chief.
Mr Rabuka said this was what brought him forward yesterday to present his matanigasau.
In forgiving them, Ratu Naiqama told them they hurt him when they organised a meeting last year and said that such actions were not chiefly and something Cakaudrove was not known for.
Ratu Naiqama urged the chiefs to bury the past.