FIJI PRESIDENT REBUKES CHIEFLY DISPUTES

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Mar. 31) - The President Ratu Josefa Iloilo has called for an end to chiefly title disputes, which is widespread in Fiji today.

Speaking at the opening of the Ba Provincial Council meeting in Tavua yesterday, Ratu Josefa expressed concern at the extent of the disputes resulting in several court cases.

"I would like to stress to members of this province the need to preserve our vanua (region) and its chiefly titles so that there is no disputes which we're encountering today. For us indigenous, these titles are usually handed down from our ancestors that have passed on, but today title disputes are being thrashed in court presided by people with foreign backgrounds," said Ratu Iloilo.

Ratu Iloilo was content with the large turnout at the meeting yesterday and said it signified the spirit of unity, respect and the character of admiration for the province and country. He said with respect and love, chiefly positions will not encounter obstacles.

"Most importantly we need to have faith in God and let him lead our vanua (country)."

He told delegates that the province of Ba was blessed with many income-earning opportunities from sugar, gold mining, electricity, tourism and an international airport.

He commended the newly established Pacific Broadcasting Services, which is run by the Ba Holdings Limited, owned by the people of the province of Ba.

"All these speaks volumes of what we can achieve and I urge our youths to take heed of their education and guard it well as this will be provide you a solid grounding in years to come."

April 1, 2005

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