Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Methodists want talks, 2010 conference

Methodist Church executives in Fiji say they are still waiting to hear from government after a planned meeting with Police Commissioner Esala Teleni was put on hold.

Church general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu told FijiLive their main agenda for the meeting was to find out why the government wants to stop the annual church conference for the next five years.

“We want to rationalise with him (Teleni) why government wants to do this,” Waqairatu said.

He said the church was still preparing to host this year’s conference earmarked for the last week of August and first week of September.

The stalemate follows allegations by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that the previous government of Laisenia Qarase had members of the church on the police Special Branch payroll to spy on the military.

The church had denied the allegations saying they needed names in order to conduct an internal investigation.

Church Deputy General Secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra told FijiLive they would only conduct an internal investigation upon receiving information they have requested police to provide.

Police spokesperson Ema Mua said they were not obliged to provide the church with any information because they (the church) were still under investigation. Mua added the church should not wait for any names and should go ahead and conduct their own investigation.

Permanent secretary for Information Major Neumi Leweni also told FijiLive the decision not to have the annual Methodist Church conference for the next five years had already been made.

Leweni said the meeting between government and the church would not be happening anytime soon.

He would not say why.

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