16 Dec 2008

Fiji academic critical of military-sponsored chiefly gathering

2:41 pm on 16 December 2008

A Fiji academic says a sub-meeting of chiefs is simply an attempt to drum up more support for Commodore Frank Bainimarama's agenda.

Nearly half of Fiji's chiefs have signed up to attend the two-day Bose ni Turaga meeting.

On the agenda is creating a road map to elections and discussions on the so-called People's Charter.

Academic Dr Tupeni Baba, a former deputy prime minister who is now a consultant, says the paramount chiefs of the three confederacies or traditional political divisions have all rejected the Bose ni Turaga and won't be attending.

He says those who will attend are highly likely to end up supporting him.

"Most of these chiefs are probably come there without seeing the agenda or reading what's in the agenda or reading the paper. They are going to be briefed overnight as to what will happen the next day and there is a danger that they will go along with whatever the military is suggesting. That would be disastrous for this country."

Dr Tupeni Baba

Media reports say the last Bose ni Turaga meeting was in 1991.