4 May 2007

Affidavit filed in Fiji High Court warns of friction and possible altercation

9:44 am on 4 May 2007

A sworn affidavit filed in the High Court by two Fiji chiefs has warned of friction and possible altercation between indigenous Fijians and the military.

Fiji TV reports that the warning is contained in the affidavit of the sacked chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Ovini Bokini, and his deputy, Ratu Sakiusa Makutu, who are challenging their sacking by the interim minister for Fijian affairs.

The affidavit says the chiefs laid down their right to "rule by the war club" when their forefathers handed Fiji to Britain in 1874.

They say this was done so the rule of law could be exercised for the benefit of the Fijian people and "not for the benefit of a president's nominee, a family or a usurping authority."

The affidavit says unless stopped by a High Court injunction, the interim minister for Fijian affairs will continue to undermine and reconstitute a new Great Council of Chiefs.

They say this will result in friction and altercation between the new and existing members and between the indigenous Fijian people and the military.