4 Feb 2003

Fiji's Great Council of chiefs speaks out over coup

6:12 pm on 4 February 2003

The chairman of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs says unless those who perpetrated the 2000 coup are brought to justice, the country could face further instability.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau says he accepts that there were chiefs involved in the coup and nobody should think they are above the law.

He also says that granting Sitiveni Rabuka a pardon after the coups in 1987 was a mistake and set the scene for the May 2000 overthrow of the government.

Ratu Epeli says it's important that those behind the latest coup face the full brunt of the law.

"If people are going to be silent about the great tragedy that we've just gone past, and not do anything about it, then you know you're breeding a ground of further distabalisation amongst the poeple that are going to grow up in future."

Ratu Epeli says it will take strong political will to bring those who have been implicated, to justice.