To home page

To contents

To Contents

To Culture

To culture

Send responses to this essay to Rotuman Forum for posting. Please include your full name and current home city.


About the Proclamation of Sovereignty

From Sefo Inoke (9 August 2000)

I never thought that the attempts to defraud the Rotuman people and others went this far. So far in fact that I think it is no laughing matter any more. It has gone beyond the exercise of the right of free speech. These persons have taken active steps with a clear intention of defrauding others and to remove and usurp the governmental authority of Rotuma.

My view is that all the people involved, particularly those who have put their signatures on these documents, should be charged with fraud and/or conspiring to defraud and treason.

From Lavenie Coy (19 August 2000)
Rotuma Independence: The Facts

To all who advocate, favor, or feel/think Rotuma should become independent from Fiji, Please consider the following and CAN YOU answer "Yes" to all the questions (A - F) below?:

A. Are you willing to pay half or more of your earnings to SUPPORT the costs of a Rotuma Government for the rest of your, your children's, and your grandchildren's lives?

95% or more of those living in Rotuma cannot afford to pay/support the costs of an independent government.

Presently the Fiji Government pays for the following:

1. The cost of a number of Rotuma residents and the equipment to maintain the roads.

2. The cost of a number of Rotuma residents and the generators and pumps and fuel for them to provide and maintain the water system for the island.

3. The cost of maintaining the hospital and its doctor, dentist, nurses, and other staff, mostly residents of Rotuma, and for medical treatment and medicine for the residents. And if a resident becomes seriously ill or injured and needs more extensive care/treatment at Suva the government pays for the air fare or an emergency flight to transport them.

4. The cost of a generator and maintaining it to provide power for the hospital and the entire Ahau complex and Council offices and garage.

5. The cost of all the teachers, mostly highly qualified Rotumans trained by the Fiji Government, to provide a good education for the children and maintaining the various school facilities, except for the Catholic school.

6. In addition, the Rotuma Council is provided school buses to get the children to/from school as well as funds for fuel and maintenance of them.

7. And they also provide funds for/pay the seven district chiefs and other Council staff/expenses so the Rotumans don't have to.

8. Also costs for maintaining the Post Office and telephone services as well as some smaller services such as an agricultural and fishing specialist to assist Rotumans with such.

This, in itself, is an enormous cost to the Fiji Government for which they ask for NOTHING in return except that Rotumans abide by the laws and good morality of Fiji; an "enormous" expense that is required for the benefit of the residents of Rotuma, BUT who can't afford to take over even 1/10 of such costs and more themselves.

And, in addition, the Fiji Government:

1. Has built an airport to handle air service from Fiji and maintains it (though a better job could be done) and radio facilities needed.

2. Subsidizes the service of a boat providing passenger and cargo service to the island monthly to assure that Rotuma has lower cost transportation for supplies to the island and other products on the return trip. The residents would be hard pressed just to provide this subsidy, let alone the other costs.

However, by declaring independence from Fiji you can be sure that:

1. The Fiji Government will withdraw ALL personnel from Rotuma that are on their payroll back to Fiji, or will cease paying those that don't want to transfer back to Fiji, as well as the equipment they provided.

2. They will cease to maintain the airport and radio facilities and will recall these personnel or cease paying those that don't want to transfer back.

3. And what about those in Rotuma receiving pensions or other financial assistance from Fiji? Will Fiji continue to provide these? I don't think so, further causing hardships for the older Rotumans.

4. They will discontinue providing medical services on the island and will no longer provide the emergency medical flights or medical services in Fiji for the island's residents, so residents--your family members--will die instead of getting the more extensive treatment they need.

5. They will withdraw approval of air service between Fiji and Rotuma leaving Rotuma without such air service and contacts.

6. They will withdraw not only the subsidy but approval for the Fiji based operator of the boat to serve Rotuma leaving Rotuma with no shipping services for supplies to or copra and other products from the island.

7. And due to restrictions on importation of Agricultural Products from other Countries/Non-Fiji Islands Rotuma would lose their market for Copra, their only means of earning money.

And, you may ask, how about replacement air and boat service from New Zealand or elsewhere?

1. The cost of the long flights would be prohibitive for Rotuma residents and even with an enlarged airport to accommodate the necessary aircraft for the longer trip the amount of traffic wouldn't support operation of an aircraft/air service.

2. And the same would apply to boat service as there would be NO subsidy and the longer trip would make shipping costs prohibitive.

B. Is this what you want for your family/relatives living in Rotuma, total isolation setting the progress of Rotuma back 100 years?

And at the same time, those pushing for secession of Rotuma from Fiji and to be an independent state (led by Henry Gibson, who is a resident of New Zealand and has wanted for years to turn Rotuma back into a dictatorship and kingdom with him as sau (king) and Taraivina Rae Costello who is a Fiji resident and refers to herself as the "Ambassador for the Dominion of Melchizedek") have gone so far as:

1. Putting together a "constitution" (which was put together by a United States exposed fraudster, David Korem, founder of the Dominion of Melchizedek, who's looking for a place to set up a base for his cult, when brought to the island by Taraivina Rae Costello in February 2000). She has even apparently been using her father's money to buy support and followers for this endeavor on behalf of David Korem.

2. Naming of a cabinet with Henry Gibson as priestly king (sau) and sovereign head of Rotuma even though they are reporting less than 80 supporters of the 2,500 or more residents and declaring themselves the government without giving the other 2,450 plus residents a chance to have a say.

3. In addition, the cabinet/government will be responsible to the Dominion of Melchizedek and its founder David Korem who wants to overrun the island with his vult members and control everyone. Remember the outcome of cults in Dutch Guyana, El Paso, Texas, and recently in Africa where authorities are still finding the bodies of those killed and buried by such a cult before they set a packed church of cult members on fire, killing everyone.

4. They have even talked of bribed kainaga land caretakers to enter into agreements to lease land (which we understood was prohibited/illegal under Rotuma statues) belonging to all members of the kainaga to the Dominion of Melchizedek for 99 years:

a. One for 50 acres at $100 per year??????? for copra business while the kainaga get NOTHING and lose everything.

b. And another smaller parcel for the Dominion's headquarters from which to govern the Sovereign State (Islands) of Rotuma and its puppet dictatorship and its tourism business (from which the Dominion and NOT the Rotumans would benefit) for $500 per year.

IS THIS what you want for your family/relatives living in Rotuma:

C. To be governed by a dictatorship that will tell them what they can and cannot do and order them around, instead of them remaining FREE under the Fiji democratic government?

D. To live in fear of robbery or assault from immoral cult members and tourists that don't respect others property while roaming around the islands uncontrolled?

E. To live in extreme poverty while the Dominion profits and profits off them?

F. To see the kainaga land taken over by the Dominion because your families couldn't pay the taxes levied on them so you and your family lose ALL family land and have NOTHING to go back to?

Many say that Fiji does nothing for the Rotumans because Rotuma DOES NOT get what some feel they should and this is the same thing the Kiwis and Cook Islanders say about New Zealand, the aborigines say about Australia, and American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, etc. say about the U.S.; and even the Indians and indigenous Fijians in Fiji and the residents of the other countries say about their governments too. These other countries as well as Fiji, with its island groups as well as Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, have other people to satisfy, too, as well with limited funds and can only do so much.

Another problem causing this has been the Rotumans themselves. Most of the time they can't decide amongst themselves what projects they want to pursue (if they could agree on 1 or 2 specific projects to pursue at a time they'd have a better chance of getting them than requests for 10 or more) and therefore can't make a proper presentation, and they also HAVE NOT had a representative that worked for them.

However, Fiji has NOW determined/specified that Rotumans will have at least 2 Rotuman Representatives in Parliament, one chosen by Rotuma only and the second by all Rotumans as a group in Rotuma and Fiji; and Marieta Rigamoto in less than one year of service before the coup (which didn't affect the Rotumans) had obtained commitments for upgrades at the hospital and improvements to the wharf as well as an operating Cocoanut Oil Demonstration Plant (to be followed in other districts if it proves successful), two new school buses[??], and other requested projects which she has helped obtain for Rotuma. This shows that with proper representation and the island people working together the island can get things/projects it wants, but it must be a little at a time.

G. And after considering all of the above facts and answering the posed questions, do you still advocate or favor Rotuma secession from Fiji and Rotuma's independence under THIS PROPOSED dictator government? And are you willing to pay half your earnings for the enormous expenses of an independent Rotuma government for the rest of your lives and your children's and grandchildren's lives?

All-in-all, the residents in Rotuma have been taken care of fairly well by Fiji, most likely better than they would have by New Zealand, Australia, or the U.S., and definitely better than they would have been able to on their own, and Fiji asks for NOTHING in return but loyalty to Fiji; and more could be obtained if Rotumans stick and work together and request projects one at a time and make a case for each.

On the other hand, as an independent state the island couldn't afford the costs of replacing the services Fiji provides.

Gou han Rotume, ma gou noh e Rotuma.

Lavenie "Inoke" Coy
Noa'tau, Rotuma

Send responses to this essay to Rotuman Forum for posting. Please include your full name and current home city.

To home page

To contents

To Contents

To Culture

To culture