14 May 2003

Fiji chief speaks out against government minister's threat of upheaval

5:42 pm on 14 May 2003

The chairman of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs says the Minister of Lands is attempting to incite people by warning there could be another upheaval in the country.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau also says Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu should not be calling for an end to the investigations into the coup.

Ratu Naiqama is facing charges for his part in the Labasa mutiny during the coup and spoke out after the vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, was charged over his involvement.

Ratu Epeli says people will no longer be blindly led into supporting a minority and they want justice done.

"The people who have been implicated in the year 2000, are the very people who are now coming up and saying look lets not prolong the situation, lets drop all investigations and then everything will be rosy. That is not the case. The perception now amongst the majority of the people, is that we must see this thing to the end and the end means that people are brought to justice and are made to answer for their actions."

Ratu Epeli and Ratu Naiqama have been locked in a bitter dispute over the key chiefly title of Tui Cakau.

The Great Council of Chiefs chairman says he's not speaking out against Ratu Naiqama because of this but because people don't want further unrest and they shouldn't be hearing this from a government minister.