21 May 2002

Fiji parliament told God is absent

9:32 am on 21 May 2002

Fiji's parliament has been told that God has been absent from the country since the May 2000 coup, during the term of the interim administration and during last year's general election.

The Daily Post reports the comment came from the Labour Party MP, Poseci Bune, in the House last night.

Mr Bune said judging from the remarks made by the government, it was obvious that God was absent from that side of the House.

Mr Bune said the prime minister Laisenia Qarase's attitude to the appeal by President Iloilo to national leaders to unite was posing disrespect to the chiefly call.

He said it was highly likely that Mr Qarase had his allegiance to some chiefs who were outside the Great Council of Chiefs.

Referring to prominent Indian businessmen, Mr Bune said prhaps the prime minister is listening to 'Ratu Vinod Patel' and 'Ratu Hari Punja' from the small but powerful 'Gujerati Council of Chiefs'

The deputy speaker, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, asked Mr Bune to refrain from bringing the Gujerati community into the debate.

But Mr Bune said Gujeratis had much to do with the 13-million US dollar agriculture scam which was under debate.