27 Sep 2007

Dispute over Fiji chiefly title turns bloody

7:23 am on 27 September 2007

A dispute over a Fijian chiefly title turned bloody when it led to a knifing attack which hospitalized two men and left a rural settlement under police guard.

The Fiji Times reports that the incident occurred between Nabouwalu village and Vuniyasa settlement on the island of Vanua Levu. over the title of Buli Raviravi.

Naboulwalu hospital general manager, Dr Joan Lal, said two villagers, one aged 74 and another 62, were in serious condition with one having to undergo surgery.

Violence erupted on Tuesday night when the people of Vuniyasa settlement armed with knives and stones allegedly stormed into the Nabouwalu village hall where a meeting to discuss the chiefly title was taking place.

The fighting that followed spilled outside where 62-year old Tevita Nalawa, who was trying to flee the scene, was knifed while 74-year old Josateki Cavu was found unconscious outside the village church.

Nabouwalu village youths gave chase to the attackers to fled to the local police station.

Police have placed a guard in the area and are conducting investigations to determine what charges should be laid.