Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Border Villagers Unite

by Theresa Ralogaivau

Fiji Times - Wednesday, June 09, 2010
ONLY one conch shell will now sound in Batiri Village on the border of Cakaudrove and Macuata outside Seaqaqa following a resolution to its provincial allegiance crisis.
The village until Monday had two of almost everything from village headmen, development plans, village meetings and two conch shells as one side swore allegiance to Macuata province while the other to Cakaudrove.
For the first time since 1929 the whole village gathered in the meeting hall to be informed by the Roko Tui Cakaudrove Ro Aca Mataitini they belonged to Cakaudrove province.
Ro Aca warned villagers to unite and to gracefully accept they were part of Cakaudrove.
"There was confusion because from the period up to 1929 they were part of Seaqaqa, which falls within Macuata province," he said.
"But when provincial divisions were made they became part of Cakaudrove yet one side of the village, especially those that belong to the Yavusa Batiri continued to pay allegiance to Macuata.
"It caused divisions in the village, caused verbal confrontations and almost ended in physical assaults with those from the Yavusa Seaqaqa.
"It can't be this way because the Government will only recognise one village headman and if the differences continue then development will bypass Batiri."
Tears flowed freely as the villagers were told to unite.
Headman Peni Tagiteci said decision had saved the village from future trouble.
"It was two villages within one, around 10 homes counted themselves as part of Macuata while around 80 homes belonged to Cakaudrove.
"A house divided cannot stand so we are glad the provincial allegiance issue has been clarified," he said.

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