back to new archives for 20-26 July, 2000
FijiLive
Rotuma bans two from island: Makrava
Tuesday, July 25, 2000

THE Rotuma Council of Chiefs has banned two agents of the
Dominion of Melchizedek, Taraivini Rae Costello and
Henry Gibson from setting foot on Rotuma.
Mr Gibson, who also goes under the name Gagaj Sau Lagfatmaro
and Ms Costello have been central players in moves for
Rotuma to sever all ties with Fiji.

This was revealed by council chairman, Visanti Makrava
yesterday morning.

The council voted on the issue after it became known that
Costello and Korem were collecting signatures for
secessionists purposes.

The two were trying to get a mandate to form a new
Cabinet and to buy communal land on the island on behalf
of David Korem, founder of the Dominion of the
Melchizedek.

Korem was recently exposed as a fraud, on America's "60
minutes" television programme when he printed bogus
stock certificates and seals for non-existent
corporations in Rotuma.

Rotuma is a small island lying about 300 miles to the
north of Fiji with a local population of about 3, 000
people and 5, 000 in Fiji. The inhabitants are mostly
Polynesians and have been administrated by Fiji since
1871.

Mr Makrava displayed three stock certificates and
corporate seals which can be seen on the internet:

* Rotuma National Copra Product; 100, 000, 000
shares, without par value;

* Rotuma National Fishing; 50, 000, 000 shares, 50
cents per share; and

* Pacific Paradise Citrus; 10, 000, 000 shares,
without par value.

Mr Makrava said Ms Costello and Mr Gibson were in
possession of these certificates and seals as well as a
document naming individuals who will comprise of a
Rotuman Cabinet responsible to the Dominion of
Melchizedek.

Mr Makrava said there are about 78 signatures which were
either forged or signed under duress but emphasised that
no one had lost money. He said the council of will also
be seeking legal action against Costello and Gibson.
The documents were signed two weeks ago. Fiji police
will interview those who have signed the documents.
Mr Makrava said he was determined to protect the Rotuman
people from frauds and cult leaders.

"If these people are allowed to carry on, more people
will be lured in," he said.

Early this year government had investigated reports that
secessionist moves were underfoot in Rotuma wanting the
island to be declared an independent republican state
severing all ties with Fiji.

It was reported to be engineered by David Korem who is
currently in Rotuma on holiday.

Mr Korem has gone as far as putting together a
constitution for the proposed Republic of Rotuma.
Mr Makrava said Korem was on the island in February this
year and the relative isolation of the island has been a
telling factor for the secessionist movement.

Supporters of the move have been urging the chiefs and
residents of the island to sign the proposed instruments
of independence.

It was first mooted by members of the Malmahau Clan,
headed by Gagaj Sau Lagfatmaro in the early 1970s. The
movement became very active and vocal after the 1987
military coups.

Fiji's Daily Post

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