25 Jul 2005

Family of former Fiji president ask Lau Council to reject government's reconciliation bill

10:28 am on 25 July 2005

The family of Fiji's late former president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, has made an impassioned plea to the Lau Provincial Council to vote against the government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The Fiji Times quotes his children as saying members of the council who vote for the Bill would be supporting Ratu Mara's removal from the presidency during the coup.

Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau says her father had told the Lau Provincial Council meeting in October 2000 that there could be "no reconciliation or peace until the coup investigations were completed and the rule of law upheld."

She says the Bill appears to go against everything her late father stood for - respect for the rule of law, and unity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

Ratu Mara's eldest daughter, Ado Ateca Ganilau, says everything that happened during the May 2000 coup was premeditated and planned and all the graffiti was being churned out through government offices and business outlets.

Ado Ateca says some members of the 2000 and current Senate were openly telling the public that the government was going to be changed soon.

13 of Fiji's 14 indigenous provincial councils have already come out in support of the Bill with Lau due to begin meeting on it today.