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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fiji Great Council of Chiefs vows to end impasse between government and military

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) has assured it will seek a resolution to the current military-Government standoff just like it did to quell the 2000 coup in Fiji.

The GCC, the appointing authority for the positions of Fiji President and Vice President, has been asked to convene a special meeting next week by Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, through his Minister for Fijian Affairs, in what seems to be a desperate attempt to resolve the ongoing row with the military.

Ratu Bokini said he will meet with Fijian Affairs Minister Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Attorney General Qoroniasi Bale today to discuss a time and venue for the meeting.

Military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said from Iraq that involving the GCC was aimed at shoring up indigenous support for the Qarase government. Land Force Commander Colonel Pita Driti, who commands the bulk of Fiji's troopers, also condemned the move by Qarase. Driti is also unfazed by the Prime Minister's warning that the military missions overseas, particularly in peacekeeping, would be severely affected if it tries to remove the current Government.

The military believes that nationalists who fueled the 2000 coup are connected to the Qarase government.

Meanwhile, Fiji Military Commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says from Iraq that he is happy to talk to the Qarase Government, but he wants the army's demands on the negotiating table. Bainimarama was commenting on Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's call yesterday for further dialogue with the Military.

Bainimarama, who is due back in the country this weekend, did not seem worried about the Government's moves to oust him. Earlier Land Force Commander Colonel Pita Driti said that the fact that the Qarase Government is willing to talk is a good sign.

Source: Fijilive

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