16 May 2007

Former Fiji education minister reasserts her right to speak out on current events

10:38 am on 16 May 2007

The ousted education minister in Fiji's former SDL government says no one can stop her from making public statements because it is her right to do so.

Describing the military as "a bunch of bullies," Ro Teimumu Kepa, who is a high chief of Rewa and head of the traditional Burebasaga Confederacy, says no one can stop her.

Ro Teimumu says she was warned by her nephew and senior army officer, Lt Col Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, not to make any public statements against the military or the interim administration and to choose her words carefully.

She says the message was conveyed through another deposed minister, Losena Salabula, who was taken to the military camp last week.

She says she was only speaking the truth about issues to inform her people.

Ro Teimumu, who was suspended along with others who were members of the Great Council of Chiefs, says she thought the interim administration was serious about its commitments to the European Union and was shocked when people started being taken to the military camp again.