10 Nov 2006

Fiji Great Council of Chiefs declines to mediate between military and government

8:41 am on 10 November 2006

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has reportedly withdrawn from trying to resolve the escalating conflict between the military and the government.

The Fiji Sun newspaper reports that the chairman of the council, Ratu Ovini Bokini, last night assured the military commander of their new stand provided Commodore Bainimarama attends today's meeting of the chiefs.

Commodore Bainimarama says the delegation of chiefs which visited him late yesterday was given the military's condition to back off and let the government solve the problem..

He says Ratu Ovini had telephoned him back and assured him that that was what would happen.

Commodore Bainimarama says he would attend the Great Council today, adding that it is only right the Qarase government solve the problem it had started.

Commodore Bainimarama says military operates had discovered on Wednesday night that provincial councils had already decided how the chiefs would handle the impasse.

He says the military did not want that to happen and he did not attend yesterday's meeting.

Commodore Bainimarama says it's time politicians stopped using the chiefs to get what they want