18 Apr 2007

Chiefs in Fiji's west call for a fourth confederacy

7:48 am on 18 April 2007

Chiefs in Fiji west want to set up their own fourth indigenous Fijian confederacy so they can have greater say when the Great Council of Chiefs has to make important decisions.

The move comes after two of the three current confederacies, Kubuna and Burebasaga, last week caused a furore by rejecting President Iloilo's nomination of Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to be vice president.

The Fiji Times quotes Vuda chief and Ba province spokesman, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu, as saying the west is the powerhouse of Fiji's economy but its chiefs have been subservient to Kubuna and Burebasaga for a long time.

Ratu Tevita says given the actions of Burebasaga and Kubuna in the Great Council of Chiefs last week, the west is determined to form its own separate confederacy and call it Matanitu Vanua ni Yasayasa Vakara.

He says they have been suppressed for too long and it is time they form their own confederacy.

The Ba chiefs supported the President's nomination last week, but when it came to the vote the Kubuna and Burebasaga confederacies spoke for them and rejected it.

Former politician and senator, Mohammed Apisai Tora, as well as a number of senior western chiefs support forming their own confederacy.