23 Aug 2011

Former Methodist leader defies Fiji military regime

1:03 pm on 23 August 2011

An 80-year-old former head of the Methodist Church of Fiji has refused to be detained by Fiji's military.

The military regime yesterday ordered the cancellation of this week's Methodist Church conference, that was due to begin today.

Church leaders had earlier suggested that the conference be chaired by the now retired Rev. Josateki Koroi after the military opposed the church president chairing the meeting.

But the Rev Koroi said that didn't comply with the church's constitution while continuing to call on the church to remain vocal about issues, including politics.

When soldiers turned up at his home last night to take him in to the barracks, he refused.

"I told them, I said no way that I want to attend to this, at this hour. I don't see any urgency of any meeting at this time of the night. And I came back home now and was tired and wanted to have a rest after being away all day. I'm not as young as you to be able to sit up at night. Go and inform the commander or whoever sent you, that I will not come."

The Rev. Josateki Koroi