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Slowly But Surely Coming to a Head

July 21, 2009

Since the decision of the Standing Committee last Friday to proceed with the Church Conference despite threats by Bainimarama and his mouthpiece Leweni, the Police have not only arrested and arbitrarily detained the Church General Secretary Rev Tuikilakila Waqairatu, they have detained and questioned 8 senior Ministers of the Church. These were said to include the Superintendent Ministers for Suva Rev Koli, the Indian Division Superintendent Rev William Lucas, the Church’s Secretary for Education Rev Jo Katonibau, the Men’s Fellowship Secretary Rev Apete Toko, and senior Church officials Bill Gonelevu and Livai Korovusere. More Ministers and officials of the Church are expected to be detained by Police including the members of its Think Tank.

When asked of his reaction to the detainment, one Church member said: “The Standing Committee is the highest temporal authority of the Methodist Church; after a month of fasting, it has made its decision and we respect that. No amount of intimidation or harassment will change our support for our Ministers and the Church. We support the Church in its stand for the rule of law and democratic principles because the Church has to be concerned about the dignity of the people. If need be, we will lay down our lives for the Church and the truth.”

Meanwhile, the faithful have begun gathering at Epworth Hall to sing hymns in support of those detained by Police

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