Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, CF, GCMG, KBE (6 May 1920 – 18 April 2004) is considered the founding father of the modern nation of Fiji. He was Chief Minister from 1967 to 1970, when Fiji gained its independence from the United Kingdom, and, apart from one brief interruption in 1987, the first prime minister from 1970 to 1992. He subsequently served as president from 1993 to 2000.
Ratu Sir Kamisese Kapaiwai Tuimacilai Uluilakeba Mara was born on 6 May 1920, in Sawana, Lomaloma, Vanuabalavu in the archipelago of Lau, the son of Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba, Tui Nayau and head of the chiefly Vuanirewa clan of Tubou, Lakeba and Lusiana Qolikoro from the Fonolahi Family of the Yavusa Tonga clan in Sawana. Fonolahi has lineage to the Tongan royalty and was also descended from an English missionary.
Mara's title, Ratu, which means "Chief," was hereditary; as the hereditary Paramount Chief of the Lau Islands, he held the titles of Tui Lau in 1963, and Tui Nayau kei Sau ni Vanua ko Lau in 1969. He succeeded to the Tui Nayau title in 1969, following the death of his father in 1966. He was earlier installed as Tui Lau in 1963 following the traditional consultation process between the Yavusa Tonga in Sawana, Lomaloma and the Tui Nayau his father. Though the title Tui Lau is not hereditary it has been left vacant by his cousin¹ Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, who had died in 1958...
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