27 Jan 2010

Fiji Methodists fail to meet regime to discuss conference ban

1:03 pm on 27 January 2010

The leaders of Fiji's Methodist Church say they have failed in their endeavours to meet the interim government to discuss its decision to ban the annual church conference until 2014.

The ban was announced by the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimamara, earlier this month shortly after it extended its public emergency regulations.

The interim prime minister said he acted after being told that some Methodist ministers were paid by the government ousted in the 2006 coup to supply it with information about the military.

The interim government has accused the ministers of espionage but a church leader has said that the interim regime is lying and not telling the truth.

The permanent secretary of information, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, has told Fijilive that a meeting with the church would not happen any time soon.

Last year's conference was cancelled on orders of the interim regime.