On behalf of the Gone Marama Bale, may I advise all readers that her personal position and that of the Vanua of Rewa remains firmly in line with the stance of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) adopted in December 2006.
At that time the GCC confirmed its support for the 1977 constitution upholding the rule of law, firmly condemning the unlawful act of the military and the subsequent establishment of its government. Rewa’s position as expressed by the Gone Marama Bale, remains unchanged.
In the Gone Marama Bale’s address to the Bose Ni Yasana o Rewa, appreciation was conveyed to the civil servants present, for the development work they diligently implement on a daily basis.
The Gone Marama Bale also commended the civil servants charged with looking after the province, for maintaining a professional balance in the delivery of their services under difficult circumstances. At no time did she express support for the regime nor indicate a change of direction.
The Fiji Sun seems to have completely omitted the Gone Marama Bale also stated that development is the responsibility of every government that levies tax on its population.
The Fiji Sun journalist and management must examine their reasons for choosing to publish such a slanted false report, which in effect compromises their own credibility, as most people will have been able to discern the falsehoods contained therein.
Two important points also included in her speech yet omitted by the Fiji Sun are:
i. Opposition to the regime’s Land Bank initiative that will duplicate the role and responsibilities of the Native Lands Trust Board, without the care of duty and the welfare of indigenous Fijian people with which NLTB is entrusted under its Act.
The Gone Marama Bale expressed concern the Land Bank initiative will render NLTB obsolete without completely and competently fulfilling the roles required of the body entrusted with the stewardship of native lands for future generations of Fijians.
ii. The establishment of casinos was also firmly opposed in her address. From the Alliance government to the SDL government, the establishment of casinos has been vigorously opposed by the Churches, NGOs and many women’s groups and the Gone Marama Bale is of the opinion the peoples wishes should be respected in this case