16 Mar 2012

Call for UN to intervene in Fiji over indigenous rights

2:40 pm on 16 March 2012

The paramount chief of Fiji's Rewa province is calling for the United Nations to intervene over what she describes as an erosion of democracy in her country.

Ro Teimumu Kepa says the decision by the interim prime minister to dissolve the Great Council of Chiefs, along with his assumption of responsibility for appointing chairs of provincial councils, contravene indigenous rights.

Ro Teimumu thinks there'll be an acceleration of similar decisions, right down to village level, in the formulation of a new constitution.

"This is a case I believe that UN body should be looking into. It's all part of the same thing that will determine their long life in their autocratic ways of dealing with people in Fiji."

Ro Teimumu Kepa says the Great Council of Chiefs has stood all of Fiji's people - not just the indigenous Fijians - in good stead.

She also says the 2006 coup has only lasted so long because the regime suspended the council shortly after it took power.