25 Jun 2003

Reconciliation in Vanua Levu over Fiji coup

5:28 am on 25 June 2003

An indigenous Fijian district has begun new moves to bring about reconciliation after the racial attacks and terrorism practiced by its members during the 2000 coup.

Radio Fiji reports that the high chief of Dreketi on the island of Vanua Levu, Ratu Maculeku Rokocegu, has publicly apologised to his people for his involvement in the rebel uprising at the height of the coup.

The high chief also apologised to the Indian community of his district on behalf of his people for terrorising them.

Ratu Maculeku made the two traditional apologies in front of about 500 people during a reconciliation ceremony.

He then banned the use of the words Indo-Fijian and Kai-India from the district.

The chief said from now on all the people of the district, regardless of race, would be known as Kai-Dreketi or people of Dreketi.

He said all Indian settlements would now be known as villages and like Fijian villages they should have a head of turaga-ni-koro.