FIJI COUNCIL OF CHIEFS ENDORSES RULE OF LAW

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 30) - The Fiji Great
Council of Chiefs has warned that all Fijians are equal before the law.

The Council's annual meeting this week heard that the chiefly
system is slowly being eroded by new social and cultural pressures.

Chairman Ratu Epeli Ganilau told members they must work to
ensure the influence and social standing of the Council is restored so people
can again trust in its leadership.

He said the Council will respect the outcome of imminent
coup-related court cases, including that of high chief and Vice President, Ratu
Jope Seniloli.

"The Great Council of Chiefs endorsed that it will always
uphold the rule of law," he said.

"One of the best things we could have done to protect the
integrity of the Great Council of Chiefs was that it stood by what it has always
stood by and that was to respect the law, and no-one is above the law,"
Ganilau said.

June 2, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra 

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