22 Jul 2009

Fiji Methodist leader sees conflicts emerge in society over detentions

3:39 pm on 22 July 2009

The head of the Fijian Methodist Church in New Zealand, the Reverend Ilaitia Tuwere, says the latest detentions have brought into conflict the three pillars of Fiji Society - church, land and state.

Last night, the Paramount Chief of Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa, was taken into custody by police, following the detention of eight Methodist Church leaders in the last few days.

It is understood the her arrest follows a letter she wrote to her people, saying Rewa province will host the Methodist Church conference next month, despite its cancellation by the interim government.

The Reverend Tuwere says the interim government is intimidating the other two pillars of Fiji Society, which will be of great significance to the people.

"Naturally, they will be upset first because we are talking about not only a high chief but a woman, a woman in a difficult situation, a woman taken in the middle of the night to be questioned..this is just very unfair and very unkind to say the least. Not only a woman but a high-ranking chief, a high-ranking chief who oversees a great part of Fiji."

Reverend Tuwere says it's a very sad day for Fiji.

The president of the ousted SDL party, Peceli Kinivuwai was also taken into custody by police this morning but has since been released.