Friday, February 25, 2011

Bua Landowners to Get Payout

The people of Nawailevu in Bua will have a reason to smile come tomorrow as they will be receiving lease money amounting to about $986,930.

Permanent Secretary for Lands, Filimone Kau said the handover was part of the rural development projects the Ministry was engaged in.

“Through the newly established Land Use Unit unutilized land are deposited into the Land Bank and made available for productive use that will benefit landowners and investors,” he said.

Land Minister, Netani Sukanaivalu, and other senior officials will travel to Bau tomorrow to officially handover the Nawailevu Bauxite Mining to Arum Explorations Ltd.

Such breakthrough signifies the relationship bonded during negotiation period between Government, the investor and land owners.

“This is critical in ensuring investor confidence for the nation and creating a transparent and friendly environment for all in facilitating investment,” Kau added.

Tomorrow’s handover details a surface lease where by Arum Explorations can start preliminary work like building a camp site, access, bridges and infrastructure.

According to Kau, mining can only begin in a month’s time when a mining lease is issued.

Also, not only will the landowners benefit through a down payment but they will be given first preference on unskilled and unskilled employment provided they meet the criteria required.

Kau also readdressed that the ministry continues to encourage land owners to engage with government on the possibility of having their lands leased for a source of revenue.

The handover tomorrow will see the landowning units: Mataqali Naicobo, Mataqali Noro, Mataqali Nalutu, Vanua Navakasiga and Vanua Lekutu receive they payout.

By Ravai Vafo’ou

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Tui Vuda Installed

Fiji Village News - 18 February 2011

Ratu Eparama Kitione Tavaiqia has been installed as new Tui Vuda

Ratu Eparama is the brother of the late former Tui Vuda, Ratu Josaia Tavaiqia.

The ceremony is currently underway at the chiefly village of Viseisei.

It is understood that the Tokatoka Nakelo met last night to finalise who was to take up the title and their decision was blessed by the Divisional Reverend.

Spokesperson for the Mataqali, Tui Nakelo, Viliame Tekaniwaqalevu said a few names were brought up and after the final decision was made a tabua was taken to the new Tui Vuda to inform him that he was the chosen one.

All the heads of all the Yavusa in Vuda were then informed and the beating of the lali, the "Rogorogo I Vuda" was heard again, this time to inform the people that their new Chief was confirmed.

The members of the clan of the Taukei Nakelo, the traditional kingmakers were accompanied by the traditional warriors or "Liganiwau" from the Yavusa, Burevakava, and took the new Tui Vuda, Ratu Tavaiqia, to the residence of the Taukei Nakelo to traditionally bless him.

Upon arrival, kava was mixed, after which the traditional bowl carrier, Ratu Apisai Saketa, officially handed the first bowl of kava to Ratu Tavaiqia, to acknowledge him as the new high chief of Vuda.

A tabua was presented to formalise the installation and it was a sign that all the powers of the Tui Vuda was handed over to Ratu Eparama Kitione Tavaiqia

Taveuni Loss is Vuda's Unique Gain

Elenoa Baselala

Fiji Times - Friday, February 18, 2011
THE Taukei Sawaieke Ratu Tevita Momoedonu has told the Information Ministry that Taveuni's loss became Vuda's gain when the former President and Tui Vuda the late Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda left the garden island to lead the people of Vuda.
Ratu Tevita, in delivering the eulogy of the vanua of Vuda at the Jone Wesele Church at Viseisei Village, related that twice, the Tui Taveuni and his chiefly Nasuva clan, rejected the traditional request for Ratu Iloilo's release from Taveuni.
Ratu Iloilo was born and bred on Taveuni and it wasn't until he was 61-years-old that he joined his father's people in Vuda.
When he was nine-years-old, Ratu Iloilo's mother Adi Melania Ciba was installed as the Tui Taveuni.
When Ratu Iloilo was 16, his father became the Tui Vuda.
"In 1981, it was the decision of the vanua of Vuda for a traditional delegation to go to Taveuni to get Ratu Iloilo to come and live and be written in the Vola ni Kawa Bula of his father's people in Vuda," Ratu Tevita said.
"We went twice and were rejected twice.
"The third time we were accepted and Ratu Iloilo came to live in Viseisei for the first time.
"They didn't want to give him up because he was their blood and was also marked to be the next Tui Taveuni.
"Taveuni's loss is our gain and for that we thank the Tui Taveuni for raising our great leader."
Ratu Iloilo ascended the Vuda throne in 1997 and led the people of Vuda until he passed away at a ripe age of 90.
He was entombed at the chiefly burial ground of Naburenivalu around 2pm after a splendid state funeral that included the 21 gun salute farewell.

1000s attend service and entombment

Maciu Malo
Friday, February 18, 2011
THE heavens opened up and a slight drizzle fell just before the casket of the late Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilo was carried out of the Jone Wesele Church to its final destination — the sautabu (chiefly burial ground) Naburenivalu yesterday.
Thousands of people from all walks of life attended the church service and entombment ceremony in Vuda.
Leading the government delegation were the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
They were accompanied by Cabinet ministers and senior civil servants which included Police Commissioner Brigadier Ioane Naivalurua.
The vanua was represented by paramount chiefs of Fiji's 14 provinces. Those present included turaga na Ratu mai Verata Ratu Ifereimi Ravoka and Bau chiefs Adi Samanunu Talakuli Cakobau and Ratu Jope Seniloli.
Head of the Burebasaga confederacy Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa was also joined by the Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Ratu Epeli Ganilau and Ratu Aisea Katonivere of Macuata.
The Methodist church were represented by former president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca who also delivered the sermon at the funeral service while the general secretary Rev Tuikilakila Waqairatu delivered the eulogy on behalf of the church.
Members of the judiciary, politicians and former ministers like Mahendra Chaudhry were also at Viseisei.
And so were members of the business community; the owners of Punjas and Motibhai at the forefront of this group.
All foreign embassies were represented and some notable sports personalities like Ro Seru Tuisese, Alivereti Doviverata and Vili Satala were also part of Fiji's historic state funeral.
The village green was in a sea of black and white with an array of crimson red of the military uniform.
The soldiers accorded the highest military honour, the 21 gun salute, to the late former president before he was finally entombed at Naburenivalu.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Illegal Fiji Regime Makes Unilateral Changes to Land Laws

Cabinet approves land use law

Shalveen Chand
Fiji Times - Thursday, February 17, 2011
CABINET approved the Land Use Regulations 2011 which will see the establishment of a Land Use Unit within the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources.
The unit responsible for creating a Land Use Bank will have a deposit of land including both native and crown titled land.
The unit will also be responsible for issuing leases over all designated lands, collect and distribute rentals and carry out any other matters pertaining to all lands designed by the Prime Minister under the Decree.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that Land Use Regulations 2011 were therefore intended to provide the legal framework for issuance of leases under the Land Use Decree 2010.
He said that the regulations will include the provision to lease native titled land.
The key provisions of the regulations include consent of native land owning units prior to depositing their land in the Land Use Bank including those under reserves; election of trustees as legal representatives of the land owning units whose role will be limited to matters relating to leasing of lands, the collection and fair distribution of rentals and premiums.
The provisions also include designation of land to be included in the Land Use Bank; the formulation of the State lease and forms for usage by the Land Use Unit; distribution of rentals; leasing on the market value of designated land, and valuation of designated native land by the State, government agencies and statutory authority.

Illegal PM Makes Unilateral Change to NLTB Entitlements

PM orders NLTB change

Elenoa Baselala
Fiji Times - Thursday, February 17, 2011
THE Native Land Trust Board has been directed to distribute lease monies to all landowners that were 18 years and above, confirmed a statement from the Information Ministry.
Prime Minister and i-Taukei Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama issued the directive also in his capacity as chairman of the NLTB.
The directive issued yesterday effectively reduced the minimum age for lease money recipients to 18 years from the previously practiced 21 years and over.
Under the existing policy and practice of NLTB, all monies received by NLTB were only distributed to those 21 years and over. The monetary entitlements of those under 21 years of age are held in trust by NLTB.
"As announced in January, the Bainimarama Government has amended the Native Land Trust (Leases and Licences) Regulations, to ensure that all members of the i-Taukei landowning units receive an equal share of the monies distributed by NLTB, regardless of rank or chiefly title.
"Given its policy under the Peoples' Charter for Change, Peace & Progress to reduce the minimum age from 21 years to 18 in all laws, policies and practices, Government has reviewed the existing NLTB policy of only distributing monies to persons of the age of 21 years and has now decided to reduce the eligibility age to 18 years.
"As such, all eligible persons 18 years and over will now be entitled to receive their equal share of the monies distributed by NLTB.
"For persons under the age of 18 years, the existing policy of the monies being held in trust by NLTB will continue, and these monies will be paid out upon a person reaching 18 years of age.
"The Prime Minister has further instructed NLTB that this directive on the reduction of eligibility age to 18 years is to be implemented with immediate effect," the statement said.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Salute to Fallen Tui Vuda

Uphold tradition, culture

Maciu Malo
Fiji Times - Tuesday, February 15, 2011
PEOPLE of Vuda have been reminded to uphold their tradition and culture and adhere to a decent dress code during the mourning period of their late chief and former President of Fiji, Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu.
Villagers and visitors have been urged to follow protocol.
Taukei Sawaieke Ratu Tevita Momoedonu said some villagers had turned deaf ears on calls made by the chiefs of Vuda regarding the dress code.
"The people are reminded to observe this solemn period that we are going through in Vuda," said Ratu Tevita.
"The dress code is very important because it portrays the image of the vanua of Vuda.
"Women should be wear black dress while men are to wear black sulu and white short-sleeve shirts."
He said Vuda was well known for the uniqueness of its culture and it was important for its people to set a good example.
Ratu Tevita said all people that roamed around the chiefly bure and its surrounding compound should wear the traditional mourning dress. "Trousers are not allowed to be worn during the mourning period," he said.
He pleaded with mourners planning to attend the funeral to abide by the rules.
Villagers along the Queen's Highway are expected to enforce their own protocols.

The rules

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
IN adhering to the traditional itaukei protocol during the period of mourning, the vanua of Vuda requires the observation of the following taboo in the village:
* No footwear
* No jewellery
* No umbrella
* No tied hair
* No handbags to be worn on the shoulder, including camera bags.
Dress code:
For women - black-sleeved dress or sulu-i-ra or black top with long skirt
For men - black sulu vakataga and whilte short/ long sleeve shirt

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Follow Traditional Protocol at Vuda says Momoedonu

Fiji Village News - 11 February 2011
Story by Tokasa Rainima

There are some rules which people must follow when they enter the chiefly village of Viseisei to pay their last respects to the late President and Tui Vuda, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

According to the Taukei Sawaieke, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu (picture left) the Vanua of Vuda is advising people to observe the protocol by wearing the proper attire, the women to wear black dresses and sulus, men to wear white shirts and black sulus.

He added that the women are not to wear any jewellery except for their wrist watch, no footwear, no make-up, you not allowed to use an umbrella and for the women not to carry their handbags.

Momoedonu said the traditional warriors will monitor or ensure that the protocol is followed.

Meanwhile, up until the burial of the late Tui Vuda next Thursday the Rogorogo I Vuda or the beating of the lali will continue on a 24 hour basis by the traditional priest or (Bete).

Monday, February 07, 2011

NLTB urges landowners on bank accounts

FBC News -  February 07, 2011

The Native Lands Trust Board is urging landowners to appoint trustees and open a bank account if they want to receive their lease payment.

NLTB General Manager – Alipate Qetaki told FBC News lease payments were released last week but majority were held back because many landowners had no bank account.
He says many landowners have expressed concern but the NLTB had been advising them from last year to open a bank account in order to receive payment.

Millions of dollars are being kept in the NLTB suspense account and Qetaki says it is urgent that landowners meet the requirement which is to appoint three legal trustees and open a bank account.

Report by : Sekope Toduadua

Chiefs must use influence: Police

by Elenoa Baselala
Fiji Times - Monday, February 07, 2011

CHIEFS have a vital role in fighting domestic violence and child abuse cases in their communities, a traditional meeting of chiefs heard.

Speaking to chiefs at the Macuata bose vanua last Friday in Labasa, police officer Navitalai Sereivalu asked chiefs to work with police in combating such criminal activities.

Mr Sereivalu reminded chiefs of the influence they wield and how they could use it positively in the crime prevention.

Mr Sereivalu told the chiefs of Police Comssioner Ioane Naivalurua's commitment in eradicating domestic violence and child abuse; he added the vanua should follow suite.

Considering a high number of sexual-related crimes reported in Macuata over the past, Mr Sereivalu said it was only right that the fight started from the helm of the traditional body.

He told chiefs to work closely with their people and talk to them about the importance of respecting women and children in villages.

Mr Sereivalu said while chiefs would attend to working with their own people, police and other government authorities would support them with awareness programs.

Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere encouraged the chiefs to take the lead role in putting a stop to domestic violence and child abuse.

Ratu Aisea said the Macuata chiefs would work closely with the police and other Government departments towards the eradication of domestic violence and child abuse.