He was known as a man of two worlds, as a prominent chief and as the first among equals of the Fijian cadre in the British administration.
President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere stated this about Fiji’s greatest statesman Ratu Sir Josefa Lalabalavu Vanayaliyali Sukuna in his address during the Ratu Sukuna Day celebration at Albert Park.
He says Ratu Sukuna was a scholar qualified in Arts and Law who used his legal expertise to safeguard and further develop framework for the management of native Fijian land for the benefit of all Fijians.
The President also says to fully appreciate the enormity of the work that Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna had to undertake, we need to change the relevant apparatus of government, particularly on our education system.
He further says for our traditional institutions to be embedded and teach Ratu Sukuna’s legacy, we need to learn from Ratu Sukuna’s life to help chart our nations course.
Ratu Wiliame adds a life of safeguarding the iTaukei land, sea, natural resources, economy, education and culture.
He also adds a life fostering peaceful living with other races and availing iTaukei land for the country’s economic development.
He also adds appreciating the work undertaken by the late chief we must understand how exceptional his role was that his 3 legged stool concept should be the right modality for our country.
Ratu Wiliame further adds we must also acknowledge that the legs are uneven and we must lift each other up when we are needed in our societies, in our decision as a nation.
The President Further adds Fiji is now at a crossroad.
He says Ratu Sukuna recognised early on that Fiji was a multi racial country and must draw on the richness of our diversity and strengthen the foundation of the Fiji that we want.
Ratu Wiliame also says since the 1930’s Fiji has undergone extensive transformation.
He further says the social changes have increased demand on our resources, as they call on our collective attention as we strive to remain productive,
The President adds as a thriving nation and economy we are faced with newer threats the unprecedented external shocks as well as the overhanging reality of climate change.
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