The Fiji Labour Party mourns the death of Tulsi Ram Khelawan, retired Ba school teacher, farmer, businessman and former Member of Parliament.
Master Tulsi, (as he was popularly known),81, passed away at the Lautoka Hospital on Sunday night after a short illness. Last funeral rites will be held at his residence in Namosau, Ba on Wednesday 6 July. He will be cremated at the Varoko Crematorium at 1pm.
Master Tulsi is a former Member of the House of Representatives and the Senate. He was elected to Parliament as a Fiji Labour Party MP in 1992. Following the snap elections in 1994 which he did not contest, he was appointed to the Senate by the Party and served as a Labour Senator until the dissolution of Parliament in May 2006.
Master Tulsi has had a long and distinguished career as a school teacher, politician and community worker. He began his teaching career at the Navoli Primary School in Ba and over the years taught at various primary schools in Ba, Tavua and Lautoka including Ba Sangam Primary, Varavu Primary and the Tagore Memorial Primary School in Ba, retiring as a headteacher.
On his retirement from public service, Master Tulsi became active on the local political front serving a term as Ba Town Councillor from 1986 to 1988. He held the office of Deputy Mayor of Ba in 1987. He was a member of the Ba Beautification Committee from 1998 to 2002; a member and treasurer of the Ba Riverside Carnival Committee from 1996 till 2009; was a Member of the Ba Lions Club and Trustee of the Ba Bougainvillia Carnival Fund.
He was a long term Secretary of the Ba Sanatan College, holding the post at the time of his death. He was a successful cane farmer and businessman.
Master Tulsi was a staunch, hard working executive of the Fiji Labour Party and the National Farmers Union. He served as vice president of the Ba Branch of the FLP and was campaign manager for the Party’s Ba Constituencies in the general elections of 1994, 1999, 2001 and 2006. He was also vice president and secretary of the Ba Branch of the NFU for many years.
Paying tribute, FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said, “Tulsi was a dedicated Party worker. Together with the late Shri Chand Badlu, he turned Ba into a stronghold of the FLP.
“He was a man of simple tastes, extremely hard working and with a will to succeed in whatever he pursued.
“We shall miss him immensely,” said Mr Chaudhry.
Master Tulsi is survived by his wife and one daughter.