By Nanise Volau
THE late Tui Noco Ratu Isoa Damudamu was hailed as a “visionary leader” who made a dream happen for the Indo-Fijian community.
Sashi Kiran, spokesperson for the Girmitiya group said Ratu Isoa created peace and reconciliation among the iTaukei and Indo-Finian vommunities like never seen before.
Late today members of the Indo-Fijian community handed over the body of the late Tui Noco by presenting a whales tooth (tabua) in the traditional manner at Nabudrau Village.
Ratu Isoa was well known for accepting descendants of the Indian indentured labourers, the Girmitiya, to be drafted into his chiefly clan as Luvedra na Ratu or children of the chief.
The unprecedented move had been hailed as a historic decision in helping to strengthen race rela¬tions in the country.
“Ratu gave us a sense of belonging, something we the Indo-Fijian community was craving for generations,” Kiran said.
She said Ratu Isoa’s ancestors had given those that perished in the boat Syria a burial that provided the foundation for the relationships for descendants of indentured labourers with the Vanua.