27 September, 2023, 5:29 pm Central - 23°C Rain

Ratu Sir Lalabalavu Sukuna was a distinguished leader who always displayed rationale - Chaudhry

Ratu Sir Lalabalavu Sukuna was a distinguished leader who always displayed rationale - Chaudhry

By Karishma Kumari
Saturday 27/05/2023
[Photo: File photo]

Ratu Sir Lalabalavu Sukuna was a statesman, scholar, soldier, administrator and a distinguished leader who always displayed rationale.

This was highlighted by Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry while paying tribute to Ratu Sir Lalabalavu Sukuna.

He says Ratu Sukuna was a skillful administrator and an eloquent speaker remembered for at least three landmark policies or legislation enacted during his tenure in public service.

Chaudhry says Ratu Sukuna was the first iTaukei law graduate, first secretary for Fijian Affairs and first local to be appointed as the Speaker of the Legislative Council by the British Colonial government who fought with the French Foreign Legion in the First World War after being denied admission in the British army.

The former Prime Minister adds Ratu Sukuna is believed to be the main proponent of the Native Lands Ordinance in 1940 which resulted in the establishment of the Native Lands Trust Board, the legislation entrusted the administration of all native lands to the NLTB ( now TLTB).

He says Ratu Sukuna also played a significant role in the re-organisation of the Fijian administration with the setting up of the Fijian Affairs Board in 1946 in which he had worked closely with Governor Sir Philip Mitchell and served as the first secretary to the Board.

Chaudhry says he is renowned for his policy on “the three legged stool” believing that the Vanua, the Church and the government must work together to ensure the well-being of the indigenous people as well as the nation.

He says Ratu Sukuna desired and preached peaceful co-existence and was mindful of the fact that it was the only way to the orderly development of Fiji.

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