27 Jul 2005

Fiji chiefs deliberate reconciliation bill

7:46 pm on 27 July 2005

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has opened a meeting of the Great Council of Chiefs whose main task will be to discuss the government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Radio Legend reports that President Iloilo called on the chiefs to take into account the interests of all the people of Fiji in their deliberations.

He said the chiefs should assist is unifying Fiji's divided society and promoting stability and goodwill.

The Great Council of Chiefs has set aside all of tomorrow to hear different views on the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Those who will address the chiefs are the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, and the Concerned Citizens Group, both of whom strongly oppose the Bill.

The attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and a senior representative of the Methodist Church will speak in favour of the Bill.

Meanwhile, Ratu Ovini Bokini has been appointed chairman of the Great Council for a full three-year term.

Ratu Ovini has been acting in the position since the government ousted the former chairman, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, 12 months ago.