Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bills good for Fijians: Ro Teimumu -Wednesday May 30, 2007
Ousted Education Minister Ro Teimumu Kepa maintains that the controversial 'Qoliqoli Bill' and other so-called pro indigenous Fijian Bills are "good for Fijians" and should be reintroduced. She said even though more consultation was needed on the Bills, the military should not have taken her Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua-led Government by force.

"This was a major factor in the takeover of government," said Ro Teimumu, who is also the highest ranking chief in one of Fijis three confederacies.

"But this did not give the military powers to take over the government because we were in the process of holding more talks with them.

"It was the people's idea that such Bills be brought about after a survey was carried out by the SDL government and we were acting on the mandate of the people."

Ro Teimumu admits there were a few 'hitches' in the Qoliqoli Bill that could have been changed before consultation with other stakeholders was done.

"We had believed that what we were doing was good for the indigenous Fijians and that it would help them greatly."

However, the military says that such programmes would not benefit all races as it will benefit only the elite indigenous Fijians.

Military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni had earlier said the SDL government was creating racial tension by introducing such Bills.

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