13 Nov 2003

Fiji opposition leader backs claim that chiefs were behind coups

4:15 pm on 13 November 2003

Fiji's opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has lavished high praise on a statement by one of Fiji's highest chiefs that some power hungry chiefs were behind the coups of 1987 and 2000.

Adi Lady Lala, wife of the former president Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara who was deposed in the 2000 coup, made the comments when opening a meeting of the Great Council of Chiefs this week.

She said the perpetrators of the coups were false prophets who spread uncertainty, threats and disharmony among the races, and had destabilised the country and brought it to its knees.

Mr Beddoes says the upheaval in 2000 had nothing to do with indigenous rights but rather with vested and commercial interests.

The Labour Party spokesman, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, says Adi Lady Lala's statement should be an eye opener for those involved in the coup and for the people as a whole.