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May 07, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Fiji-born British Army soldier Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi who died on Friday was a generous and calm person who never seemed to get angry.

An emotional aunt of Private Silibaravi, who did not want to be named, told FijiLive they received the news of his death on Saturday and they still can not accept the fact that he has died because he had brought so much happiness into their lives.

“He was here in January and we were visiting all our relatives before he returned to England and we never thought that it would be the last time we would be seeing him,” she said.

His younger brother Saimoni Pita Silibaravi will be travelling with his sister Mereoni Silibaravi to England today to make arrangements with the British Army about the return of their brother’s body to Fiji.

The aunt said Tu Manasa as he was commonly known to everyone was generous, humble and he never seemed to get angry easily.

“It’s just the way he is, he always told us that being angry at something was not good for our health,” she said.

“He was brought up by all his relatives from his maternal side in Gau and paternal side in Vanua Levu because when he left for England in 2002 both his parents had passed away.

“He was always thankful to all his relatives for helping him in everything he has achieved and he always makes an effort to send money everytime he gets his pay.”

Private Silibaravi is survived by his four brothers and two sisters.

Family members are still discussing on funeral arrangements.

Private Silibaravi was killed in an indirect fire attack on forward operating base Ouellette, in the northern part of Nahr-e Saraj district in Afghanistan last Friday with his colleague Corporal Andrew Steven Roberts.

Lieutenant Colonel Dom Fletcher, commanding officer, 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC said he was one of the most experienced soldiers, steadfast, redoubtable and brave.

A total of 412 members of UK’s armed forces have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

By Mereani Gonedua

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