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Details of Tovata
The village of Somosomo on Taveuni is the current capital of the Tovata Confederacy. However, this confederacy was formed by the Tongan chief, Ma'afu.
Paramount Title of Tovata
The Paramount Chief of this confederacy is the Tui Cakau, who is also the paramount chief of Cakaudrove Province. It is currently held by Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, who won a court battle in 2001 to succeed his late father, Ratu Glanville Lalabalavu, who died in 1999. He had been challenged by Ratu Epeli Ganilau, son of former President Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, who had been the Tui Cakau up to his death in 1993. The name Tovata says it all. The Confederacy is a union of the 4 provinces with equal importance and rank. Traditionally the Tui Cakau has been the leader of the group but it is with the understanding that they are all of equal status. Unlike Kubuna and Burebasaga where the leader of the confederacy is mentioned when addressed.
Notable Fijians of Tovata
Although the smallest of the three confederacies, Tovata has been the most politically influential. Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, considered the father of modern Fiji, was from Tovata, as were Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, Fiji's longtime first Prime Minister and second President; Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, the first President of Fiji. In addition, Sitiveni Rabuka, former Prime Minister, and Laisenia Qarase, the recently removed Prime Minister, are also from Tovata. Political and Youth Activist Roko Jonetani (aka Pita) Waqavonovono is also from Tovata. Other notable leaders are Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Ratu Epeli Ganilau
Business persons also from Tovata include Roko Matai of the Yatu Lau and Mere Samisoni of the Bread shop chain HOT BREAD KITCHEN.
- Broken Waves: A History of the Fiji Islands in the Twentieth Century - Page 233, by Brij V. Lal - 1992, Reference to Tovata as a Confederacy
- ' Australia's Arc of Instability': The Political and Cultural Dynamics of Regional Security - Page 251 - 258, by Dennis Rumley, Vivian Louis Forbes, Christopher Griffin - 2006, reference Tovata as a confederacy and how it was formed
- Tovata I & II By AC Reid, Printed in Fiji by Oceania printers Fiji (1990)