Monday, May 17, 2010

Village apologises to Tonga for killings

by Serafina Silaitoga

Fiji Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
FOR the villagers of Navave in Bua, being forgiven for a murderous act committed by their ancestors is a major relief.
And they believe the apology will bring success to them and their descendants.
Their apology was accepted by a member of the Tongan royal family, Princess Suilikutapu, at the village last Friday.
About 159 years ago, the villagers of Navave killed a group of Tongan missionaries who had visited the village to spread the message of Christianity.
It is believed the Tongan delegation had travelled to Bua to escort the chiefly families of Tui Vuya and Buli Raviravi back to their homes. The two chiefly families have Tongan links.
When the Tongans arrived, they were not allowed to return. Instead they were killed by the villagers, who believed their acts would protect their chiefs.
Princess Suilikutapu praised the villagers for their efforts at reconciliation, adding that it was the best way to unite humanity.
"For me, it's simply following the paths of Jesus Christ who started reconciliation between God and mankind," she said.
"I believe such a move is the only way forward for us to remain united and in one."
Princess Suilikutapu is the daughter of the late Prince Tuipelehake, Tonga's former prime minister of 25 years from 1965 to 1990.
The reconciliation program, led by Christian Mission Fellowship president Pastor Suliasi Kurulo, who hails from Navave Village, saw villagers rejoicing as they had atoned for the wrong of their forefathers.
Pastor Kurulo said he experienced hardship and struggles as a young village boy.
"I used to get sick all the time and I wrote to my dad and told him to pray for me because everyday I felt sick in school," he said.
"I couldn't study well but after my father prayed for me, I felt a breakthrough because I didn't get sick anymore and my studies went well and because I totally turned to Jesus."
Pastor Kurulo said the forgiveness would now open doors of opportunity for the villagers of Navave as God had sealed a bond that had been broken between the people of Tonga and those from Navave.
"I asked for forgiveness when I travelled to Tonga once but we needed to organise one for the village so we have done that and God has blessed us with an opportunity of reconciliation," he said.
"So our generation will prosper from today and we believe that."

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