Ratu Epenisa: Love is the answer

Ratu Epenisa Cakobau meets the congregation after the thanks givig service outside the Ratu Cakobau Memorial Church in Bau island yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

LOVE is the answer.

That was the message conveyed by Bau chief Ratu Epenisa Cakobau to the people of Bau as he asked them to rise above the limitations of their human nature and exercise their power to forgive.

Speaking at a thanksgiving church service on the island yesterday, Ratu Epenisa said love must prevail despite the events that transpired last Friday where he was taken from his home by police and armed soldiers for questioning regarding the installation of the new Vunivalu of Bau.

In an attempt to guide and comfort those aggrieved by the manner in which he was arrested, Ratu Epenisa said the central issue lay in one’s ability to forgive those perceived to have wronged you.

He said people should not harbour ill feelings as it would adversely affect them. He said loving one another was the only way forward.

“We should forgive each other, that’s the only thing we should do, and we should thank God for what has happened,” he said.

“I thank you all for your prayers and your support, and I know you that you will continue to show your support for me.

“We should continue to pray for our land and our people, that’s the only solution to our problems.

“I was reading a book titled Forgiveness in my cell block on Friday night and I had related that to what we are going through right now, so we should continue to move ahead.”

He reiterated that everything happened for a reason.

“I just want to encourage you that everything happens for a reason.”

Ratu Epenisa and a few others — Tunitoga Ratu Aisea Komaitai, Dr Joji Malani and Ratu Meli Malani — were taken from the island by police and armed soldiers last Friday.

According to Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, the men were taken in for questioning in relation to the installation ceremony of the new Vunivalu of Bau.

He said police received information the ceremony was going ahead despite a decision by the Native Lands Commission that the scheduled installation be stopped because of an “unresolved internal conflict” between members of the chiefly Tui Kaba clan.

The men were released on Saturday without any charges laid.

When asked for an update on the matter yesterday, Brig-Gen Qiliho said police had already issued a statement “and that is sufficient”.

“I think we have said enough,” he said.

We have made a release on what we are going to do.”

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