20 Dec 2006

Fiji GCC meet stacked with middle level chiefs

7:41 pm on 20 December 2006

It's been revealed that today's meeting of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs was stacked with middle level district chiefs from all 14 indigenous provinces also attending to discuss the post coup crisis facing the country.

Radio Legend reports that according to officials of the Fijian Affairs Board, the invitations were sent out on the instructions of the chairman of the Great Council, Ratu Ovini Bokini.

The radio says the reason for inviting all the chiefs of Fiji is not known.

Other prominent non members of the Great Council present at the meeting included the deposed education minister and Roko Tui Dreketi, Adi Teimumu Kepa, and Bau high chief Adi Litia Cakobau and her sister Adi Samanunu Talakuli Cakobau.

The National Alliance Party headed by Ratu Epeli Ganilau is asking why non members of the Great Council of Chiefs have been allowed to attend the meeting.

A party spokesman and former executive officer of the Great Council, Kini Rarube, says the Great Council secretariat should have ensured that only members attended the crucial meeting as they needed to make an independent decision.

He says if the Great Council of Chiefs is to be independent, it should be allowed to make independent decisions.

Meanwhile, the military is trying to find out more information why the ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase, gave 12,000 US dollars to the fundamentalist Assembly of Christian Churches just before this year's general elections.

The military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni, says they want to establish whether public funds were used to pay the churches.

He says further action will depend on the police.