21 Jun 2005

Fiji Chiefs affirm support for President Iloilo's actions over military commander

10:18 am on 21 June 2005

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has confirmed that it stands by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's decision in the stand-off dispute between the government and the military commander.

The chairman of the Great Council, Ratu Ovini Bokini, has told Radio Legend that he met with Ratu Josefa recently after the government wrote a letter to the president asking him to discipline Commodore Bainimarama.

Ratu Ovini says the president told him that he had advised the government and the home affairs minister to try and resolve their differences with the military commander in the traditional Fijian manner.

Radio Legend says it has been reliably informed that the government had asked the president to dismiss Commodore Bainimarama from the military.

But President Iloilo rejected this advice and also refused to appoint a commission of inquiry into the military commander when asked to do so last year.

Senior government officials are quoted as saying they want to take the matter up with the Great Council of Chiefs which is the appointing body for the president and can also dismiss him.