4 Dec 2008

Former chair of Fiji GCC urges interim regime to convene Council urgently

2:09 pm on 4 December 2008

The former chairman of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Ovini Bokini, has broken a long silence to urge the interim Government to convene the GCC as soon as possible.

The FijiLive website reports Ratu Ovini as saying chiefs are not interested in the Bose ni Turaga meeting next week, to which the interim government has invited 285 traditional leaders.

Ratu Ovini says there's a danger that the meeting will be dominated by the interim Government's ideologies.

He says former members of the GCC, which was suspended by the interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama last year, want to resolve their own matters without input from government.

Ratu Ovini has backed a call from Naitasiri province chiefs for Commodore Bainimarama and his regime to present a tradition apology to the chiefs before attempting to engage them.

However, the Interim Indigenous Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says the GCC cannot be convened at this point.

He says that in the meantime, the Bose Ni Turaga is the most appropriate forum for informing the chiefs of recent initiatives in the Fijian administration.