Friday, April 13, 2007

Chief worried about future of their roles - Thursday April 12, 2007

Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa (r) at the GCC meeting
The paramount chief of the province of Rewa, RoTeimumu Kepa has expressed concern about what she believes is the deteriorating relationship between Fiji’s Interim Government and the Great Council of Chiefs.

Speaking at the GCC meeting in Suva yesterday, Ro Teimumu who was also a member of the ousted Government said she was worried about comments made against the chiefly body by Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Late last year, Commodore Bainimarama said it was best for the chiefs to have a picnic and drink under a mango tree and take their grievances to Santa Claus after the GCC condemned his takeover of the government.

Ro Teimumu said previously the government worked closely with the GCC.

However, she said that has changed and the government now does not consider the views of the chiefs.

Ro Teimumu said this raised questions about the role of the chiefs and whether globalisation was having an impact on traditional leadership.

According to the ousted Education Minister, chiefs have the role of leading and taking care of people.

She said they have a role of advising the government on matters related to indigenous people.

She added this role was bestowed upon their elders and ancestors and chiefs today have to carry on with their good works.

Ro Teimumu also called on the President and Interim PM to explain the government’s views of the GCC.

Chiefs from two of the three confederacies yesterday rejected President Ratu Josefa Iloilo’s choice for Vice President.

The Kubuna and Burebasaga confederacies said Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was a member of an illegal government.

Ratu Epeli is Interim Foreign Affairs Minister in Commodore Bainimarama’s Cabinet.

Commodore Bainimarama led the military in a takeover of the Government last December.

The GCC had following the coup condemned the actions of the military and called for the restoration of the Laisenia Qarase-led government.

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