6 Oct 2004

Former Chair of Great Chiefs says forgiveness ceremony was meaningless

11:39 am on 6 October 2004

The former chairman of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has dismissed this week's government organised national forgiveness ceremony for the perpetrators of the coup and mutinies as meaningless.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau has told the Daily Post newspaper that the forgiveness ceremony (or matanigasau) is performed between parties who do the wrong and those who are wronged.

Monday's forgiveness ceremony was performed before President Iloilo who asked all those wronged to forgive the perpetrators.

But Ratu Epeli says the scared ceremony should not have been taken to a third party and loses its essence in the absence of the victims of the coup.

Meanwhile, the president of the Fiji Labour Party, Jokapeci Koroi, says the desire for national reconciliation has to be reflected in the policies and deeds of the government, otherwise it is just rhetoric and an exercise in futility.