TAVEUNI MILLENNIUM BASH TO BE ON LAND ONLY

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 23, 1999 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---Preparations for the millennium celebrations on Taveuni have taken another major twist after the chiefly clan of the late Tui Cakau banned all sea activities on the island.

The ban will be in effect for at least a hundred nights, which means that the Tui Cakau's i qoliqoli (fishing ground) will not be lifted until February, a month after the millennium celebrations.

All diving, fishing, snorkeling and underwater sightseeing for tourists and locals will be prohibited until then.

Taveuni district officer Noa Tokavou said the chiefs made their decision after a meeting last week.

"The Tui Cakau's i qoliqoli comprises the whole of Taveuni and down to Rabi.

"This means all activities for the millennium celebrations will be restricted to land only," Mr. Tokavou said.

He said it is hoped the ban will not affect the number of tourists going to the island or the celebrations.

"Preparations towards the celebrations are rounding up with a month to go.

"We expect everything to be finalized this week or next at the latest.

"The re are many other exciting activities that will be held on land and we don't see any reason why the ban should affect the celebrations," Mr. Tokavou said.

Most hoteliers on the island declined to give comments on the issue.

One hotelier said it is a sensitive issue, which no one can really comment on at the moment.

Fiji Visitors Bureau Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Millennium Celebration Committee, Steven Yaqona, could not be reached for comment.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fiji Live.

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