Prime Minister Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka today visited the chiefly island of Bau to present his isevusevu to the Paramount Chief of Bau and head of the Kubuna Confederacy, NaTuraga Bale na Tui Kaba, and Vunivalu Ratu Epenisa Cakobau.
Accompanied by the Assistant Prime Minister, Hon Sakiusa Tubuna, the Prime Minister’s visit was also to seek forgiveness for an incident on the island in which the Office of the Prime Minister was involved and to also seek the forgiveness of the high chief for campaigning the re-establishment of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) which rightfully should be sanctioned by the chiefs of Fiji.
In an emotionally charged atmosphere during the ceremony, Prime Minister Rabuka said that one of his priorities was to seek the forgiveness of Ratu Epenisa Cakobau for all that has transpired and to restore to the chiefs of Fiji the right to decide on the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs.
“I won’t say that this is my government,” said the Prime Minister, “rather it is the government chosen by the people of this great nation – it is the people’s Government.”
“Your Government’s priority is to set the record straight, to right the wrong.”
“We all know for a fact how the Office of the Prime Minister was instrumental in preventing the installation of the Turaga na Vunivalu and head of the Kubuna confederacy as it is our duty as the people’s government to seek forgiveness first and foremost before carrying on with official business.”
“The second agenda on our being here today is to seek forgiveness not only on my behalf but on behalf of all political parties that campaigned to reinstate the Great Council of Chiefs,” added the Prime Minister.
“The chiefs of Fiji reserve the right to reconvene the GCC hence we seek your pardon, the Vunivalu and head of the Kubuna confederacy as it is not our calling but we await the collective decision of our chiefs regarding the GCC.”
“As your Prime Minister, I am passionate about the GCC and I must restore the respect and honor due to the chiefs of our nations while restoring our chiefs’ right to deliberate on the reconvening of the GCC.”
“Government will respect and facilitate the resolution when it is made,” added Prime Minister Rabuka.
“Nonetheless, I give my assurance that I will never refer to Government as ‘My Government’ as it is not mine but the people’s Government and we will give back to the wonderful people of Fiji what has been deprived from them.”
The Prime Minister further said that the Government’s approaches are best compared to a poem quoted by King George VI in his 1939 wartime Christmas broadcast to the British Empire, “And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” (*Minnie Louise Haskins)