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Dad, please come home

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, June 16, 2014

"DADDY, please come back home. I forgive you."

With tears in her eyes, nine-year-old Victoria Kolinisau pleaded with her dad — Aliki (Eliki) Suka — to come back home and not fear the police.

Her dad has been on the run since December last year after allegedly setting on fire the Coral Coast's Natavora Waters Resort, which claimed the life of his wife and severely injured Victoria.

Victoria was lying beside her mum, Naomi Vakatawani, when her dad allegedly spilled kerosene over them and tied the hands of her mum.

"I saw everything that happened. My dad also tied my legs down while he was trying to set fire to my mother and I couldn't move," she said.

She paused for a minute as tears swelled in her eyes.

Her head turned towards the window. She stared at the horizon overlooking the hills of Soasoa in Labasa.

"I miss my mum every day. And when I do, I just cry and that is why I am asking my father to come out and see me.

"I feel so lonely and alone without them. I forgive my dad for doing what he did to my mother and me as I watched helplessly.

"I woke up when I heard my mother screaming but she couldn't move because her hands and legs were tied. And I couldn't move because my legs were also tied down by my dad."

The incident happened on December 23 at about 7am and Victoria recalls how flames burnt her legs and back.

"I was lucky because my uncle and his family were with us and he lifted me and my mother out of the house," Victoria said.

"I tried to run out of the house but my legs were too weak and I fell down. So my uncle ran in, picked me up and carried me outside."

Her uncle Livai Peniseni, who is older than Victoria's late mum, had travelled to Sigatoka with his family to spend Christmas.

"It was the most hurtful day for me as I saw my sister burn. Half of her face had turned black," he said.

"She continuously cried for help and as I carried her outside, I couldn't stop crying because our young childhood days just flashed across my mind.

"My mum was also there and she kept crying and it was not easy comforting her. After all that happened, I decided to bring her children to Labasa to look after them."

Victoria spent three months in New Zealand for medical treatment and is positive about starting school soon.

"I can't wait to start school again. Although I can't walk, I know that one day I will go back in school," she said.

While she pleads for her dad's return, police have continued with the search and investigation.

Spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the case was still open.

"We are still looking for him. We are actually working on information received and we will not give up searching."

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