Tomasi Kulimoetoke II

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Tomasi Kulimoetoke II
50th Lavelua of Uvea (Wallis Island)
King Tomasi Kulimoetoke.jpg
Reign 12 March 1959 - 7 May 2007
Predecessor Aloisia Brial
Council of Ministers
Successor Council of Ministers
Kapiliele Faupala
Born 26 July 1918
Ha'afuasia, Wallis Island, Wallis and Futuna
Died 7 May 2007(2007-05-07) (aged 88)
Mata'Utu, Wallis
House Takumasiva Dynasty

Tomasi Kulimoetoke II (26 July 1918 – 7 May 2007) was the 50th Lavelua (King) of Wallis Island, which is known as Uvea in the Wallisian language, one of the three traditional kingdoms in the French overseas territory of Wallis and Futuna.

Wallisian, or ʻUvean, is the Polynesian language spoken on Wallis island. The language is also known as East Uvean to distinguish it from the related West Uvean language spoken on the outlier island of Ouvéa near New Caledonia. The latter island was colonised from Wallis Island in the 18th century.

Wallis and Futuna overseas collectivity of France

Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, is a French island collectivity in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast, Samoa to the east, and Tokelau to the northeast. Though both French and Polynesian, Wallis and Futuna is distinct from the entity known as French Polynesia.

He was born in Ha'afuasia in the Hahake District on Wallis island. [1] He was elected king on 12 March 1959, after a 6 month-rule by a Council of Ministers. In early years, he supported closer links with France, recognising that Wallis was economically dependent on subsidies. After a national referendum, he signed treaty to make Wallis a French overseas territory ( Territoire d'Outre-Mer ) in 1961. [2]

Haafuasia Village in Wallis and Futuna, France

Ha'afuasia is a village in Wallis and Futuna. It is located in Hahake District on the east coast of Wallis Island. Its population according to the 2008 census was 386 people. To the northwest is Lake Kikila.

Hahake District District in Wallis and Futuna, France

Hakake is one of the 5 districts of Wallis and Futuna, located in Wallis Island, in the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Chiefdom of Uvea.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

He had six children. [2]

In 2002, the king riled many of his countrymen, as well as France, by shutting down the island's only newspaper because it had carried an editorial criticising him for giving refuge to a family friend, after she was sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds. Reformists also mocked the king's insistence that Wallisians dismount from their bicycles when passing his palace.

In 2005, the King nearly lost his throne after his grandson, Tomasi Tuugahala, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of a pedestrian who was killed in a drunk-driving accident on New Year's Eve. The King invited his grandson to take refuge in the royal palace, where he hid for four months before surrendering to the French gendarmes. The King's Prime Minister, holder of the title "Kalae Kivalu" urged the high administrator of the French government Xavier de Fürst to "quit the territory". The King also claimed that the incident was dealt with according to customary tribal law and that the French penal law should be abolished in Uvea.

Gendarmerie military force charged with police duties among civilian populations

A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military component with jurisdiction in civil law enforcement. The term gendarme is derived from the medieval French expression gens d'armes, which translates to "armed people". In France and some Francophone nations, the gendarmerie is a branch of the armed forces responsible for internal security in parts of the territory with additional duties as a military police for the armed forces. This concept was introduced to several other Western European countries during the Napoleonic conquests. In the mid twentieth century, a number of former French mandates or colonial possessions such as Lebanon, Syria, and the Republic of the Congo adopted a gendarmerie after independence.

Xavier de Fürst, b. 1948, is a French prefect. He was the high administrator of the French government in the Wallis and Futuna islands in the South Pacific. He accepted the role and became administrator of the islands on 18 January 2005. He was succeeded by Richard Didier.

Reformists wished to depose the King and install Sosefo Mautamakia Ahau Halagahu, son of the late Halagahu as his successor in the northern district "Hihifo". Local riots occurred and the coronation did not take place. The King retained the throne and would be further recognised as such by France. Several hundred of the King's supporters marched and built roadblocks on the island during the crisis. [3]

His daughter Etua took over his ceremonial duties in later years, when he suffered from poor health. He died in Mata-Utu. [4] A six-month mourning period was observed, during which it was taboo to mention a possible successor. [5]

Taboo Implicit prohibition based on cultural values, often without rational basis

In any given society, a taboo is an implicit prohibition on something based on a cultural sense that it is excessively repulsive or, perhaps, too sacred for ordinary people. Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies. On a comparative basis taboos, for example related to food items, seem to make no sense at all as what may be declared unfit for one group by custom or religion may be perfectly acceptable to another.

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  1. "Tohi tau'ine a te pule'aga falani" (in French). Uvea mo Futuna Online Magazine. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  2. 1 2 Obituary Archived 2007-05-16 at the Wayback Machine ., The Independent , 8 May 2007
  3. Alex Duval Smith (11 August 2005). "Civil war averted in French Pacific territory". The New Zealand Herald . The Independent . Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  4. "King of Wallis dies aged 88". Radio New Zealand International . 7 May 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  5. "No new king in Wallis for six months". Radio New Zealand International . 9 May 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2011.