20 Jul 2004

Former Fiji GCC head Rabuka defends Ganilau removal

2:30 pm on 20 July 2004

The only life member of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs, Sitiveni Rabuka, is defending the move by the government to end the term of its chairman.

He says the government has not dumped Ratu Epeli Ganilau as has been claimed because his membership had expired so his position as chairman was no longer valid.

Ratu Epeli disputes that and says he has proof, via a government gazette, that his appointment is until 2006.

Mr Rabuka says the government is in its rights to inform Ratu Epeli that his term is over but it could have chosen a better way to do it than sending him a letter.

"I am surprised that that has happened. It should not happen that way for a senior member of our community and holder of an important position in the Fijian administration. I believe he should have been given the courtesy of a notice well before the termination date."

Sitiveni Rabuka.

Meanwhile, Ratu Epeli Ganilau says he won't be attending the GCC meeting set for tomorrow scheduled to elect a new chairman.

And, he says he won't seek discussions with the prime minister over the issue.