27 Jan 2003

Naitasiri chief apologises for Fiji coup upheaval

4:27 pm on 27 January 2003

An indigenous chief from Fiji's Naitasiri province, scene of intense rebel activity and racial violence in the May 2000 coup, has apologised to all of thsoe who suffered in the upheaval.

Ratu Loco Qiolevu has also given police new information to enable them to prosecute people behind the coup.

The Fiji Sun quotes Ratu Loco as saying the people of Naitasiri were the first to go to parliament during the coup because of instructions from the top of the traditional provincial leadership.

He says they also wanted to take over the military camp during the army mutiny six months later but failed.

Ratu Loco says they have identified the people who gave these instructions and handed documents to the police.

He has also called on all those in the Qarase government who were part of the coup to resign.

Ratu Loco says if nationalist Viliame Savu could be in jail in having prior knowledge of the coup, there was no reason why others who had supported the coup were not prosecuted.