People watch chief's health
Saturday, March 10, 2007
The Vanua o Vuda is concerned about its paramount chief and President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's age but will not ask him to step down and return to his people, it has been revealed.
His nephew and Taukei Sawaieke Ratu Tevita Momoedonu said the vanua (traditional subjects) had seriuously considered approaching Ratu Josefa to step down as President last year.
But he said it did not work out because the Great Council of Chiefs soon after re-appointed him to the vice-regal post.
Ratu Tevita said the idea was discussed in January 2006 but it was decided to put it on hold until the Great Council of Chiefs met in March 2006.
Ratu Josefa, 86, was reappointed by the council. Ratu Tevita said the vanua had considered approaching Ratu Josefa last year to step down because of his age.
"Considering his age we wanted him to come back home to the vanua," he said.
Ratu Tevita said they would just wait and accept whatever decision was made on the presidency.
"We have accepted the GCC's decision," he said.
"Until now, there is no other discussion to go and ask him to step down. The vanua will not do anything now unless he tells us."
It follows arrangements being made for Ratu Josefa to undergo further medical examinations overseas.
It is understood security arrangements for him and his entourage would be slightly amended because his military bodyguards would not be allowed to travel to Australia.
Secretary to the President's Office Rupeni Nacewa said Ratu Iloilo was entitled to overseas medical treatment once a year.
An Australian High Commission spokesperson said there had been no changes to the position announced immediately after the coup that Australia would restrict travel to Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, his supporters, members of the interim administration and their families.
It includes the travel ban of all members of the Fiji Military Forces.
Meanwhile, yesterday while launching the $100 note, Ratu Josefa urged everyone to work together and assist in moving the country forward.
"While we have problems to solve, we should not lose sight that we have opportunities that we can exploit in service areas like tourism and ICT (Information and Communication Technology)," he said."We cannot change the past, but we can do something to change the future. "I call on the nation and our people to hold on to that hope. We can, and we must, now look ahead and build the future for our children and grandchildren."
The vanua o Vuda has five yavusa Sabutoyatoya, which Ratu Josefa is the head of, Tububere which Ratu Tevita leads, Nakoivuda in Lauwaki, Draulunavuda in Lomolomo, Navatulevu and Viagoisaukova in Abaca.
Ratu Tevita said the Yavusa Sabutoyatoya and Tububere lived in Viseisei Village.