The Fiji Methodist Church has come out with a strong statement about the current situation. It seems that this caused some disquiet in the military camp and soldiers went into Centenary Church this afternoon and a Fiji Times photographer was allegedly assaulted in the process.
Resign, Methodist Church tells regime
Friday February 02, 2007
Fiji’s largest Christian denomination, the Methodist Church has issued a strongly worded statement denouncing the December 5 coup by the military.
The church said the actions of the Commander to depose and then reinstate the President, to terminate the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Government and Multi Party Cabinet and the dissolution of Parliament are questionable in any court of law.
"These actions must be viewed as a dangerous precedent to the governance of this country i.e. the use of military power to usurp the mandate of a democratically elected government.
‘The takeover should be deplored as a treasonous act against the State.
The Methodist Church said the coup in the short term created more poverty and this was evident from the growing number of people seeking assistance through the Church.
On the interim regime, the Church said in principle it agreed to the appointment because it acknowledges that democratic normalcy needs to be restored to the nation with undisturbed speed.
The Church called on the President and the Great Council of Chiefs to "show integrity, compassion and to stand up for the rule of law and Godly principles, including human rights, in this difficult period.
It also called for serious consideration to have the President medically boarded, and if necessary retired with dignity and respect.
"This plea is in the national interest and in the interest of the credibility of the interim regime.
"It is the humble and honest advice of the Church that this matter should be addressed to avoid certain embarrassment," the statement said.
The Methodist Church also called on Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and his interim ministers to resign and appoint a new government that is politically neutral made up of prominent and respected people in society.
A senior army officer was infuriated when contacted for comments and blamed the president of the Assembly of Christian Churches in Fiji (ACCF) Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu for releasing the statement.
Senior Methodist Church ministers were not in a position to comment.
Methodist president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca declined to comment.
Rev Ame Tugaue said he would rather not comment.
"Try the president or somebody else in the Church", he said.
Numerous calls made to the ACCF office were unanswered.