Fiji Time: 12:48 AM on Saturday 24 March

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Chiefs visit

Felix Chaudhary And Nasik Swami
Sunday, November 05, 2017

POLICE confirmed a group of people from Rotuma had travelled to Suva and would be meeting Commissioner Eastern Luke Moroivalu tomorrow to seek forgiveness over allegedly making comments about forming a separate state.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the group had not been arrested.

"I can confirm that there is a group travelling to Suva but they are not under arrest or have committed any crime," she said.

Ms Naisoro said while details remained sketchy, it had been alleged the group would meet Mr Moroivalu on Monday to seek forgiveness for alleged discussions about the setting up of a separate state.

When contacted by this newspaper yesterday, Mr Moroivalu confirmed seven chiefs did travel with him from Rotuma upon the completion of his tour of the island last week.

However, he denied their trip had anything to do with the chiefs alleged discussions about forming a separate state.

"I came with them, there are seven chiefs and they are all in Suva and all are in their homes," Mr Moroivalu said.

"On Monday we will have a meeting in the office.

"We will meet to finalise some important development issues on the island."

When asked if the chiefs were brought to Suva because of alleged discussions to form a separate state, Mr Moroivalu denied it.

"That's not true," he said.

When quizzed if they were meeting him to seek forgiveness, he also said it was not true.

"There is nothing of that sort."

According to sources with close links to the island, the chiefs came under scrutiny after a meeting where discussions were allegedly held about the possibility of Rotuma forming a separate state.

Rotuma was ceded to Great Britain in a Deed of Cession on May 13, 1881. The British administration joined Rotuma to Fiji for administrative purposes.

However, there have been a number of attempts by Rotuman chiefs since the 1970s to secede from Fiji.

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