10 Nov 2006

Fiji military chief addresses GCC

4:15 pm on 10 November 2006

Fiji's military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, addressed the country's Great Council of Chiefs just before midday today.

Commodore Bainimarama is understood to have briefed the chiefs on the military's concerns about three controversial Bills proposed by the government.

They are the Reconciliation and Unity Bill, the Qoliqoli Bill and the Land Claims Tribunal Bill.

Commodore Bainimarama is reported to have told the chiefs that they should not take sides in the impasse between the government and the military.

He said that was the job of the government which had created the problem.

Commodore Bainimarama stressed the need for good governance in Fiji and said there will be serious consequences for the country if the three Bills are taken further.

He had earlier said what he wanted the chiefs to do was to take the military's concerns back to their provinces and explain them to the people.

Fiji's chiefs will continue their meeting this afternoon.