Qiliho: Police on Alert

The Fiji Police Force will now look at all avenues in the law and respond within the law to an action plan drawn up by the Catholic Church. This is
21 Jan 2019 13:59
Qiliho: Police on Alert
Glamada Investments Rewa goalkeeper Mohammed Alam fails to stop a classic strike from 4R Electrical Labasa striker Christopher Wasasala in their Digicel Fiji FACT clash at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on May 22, 2022. Labasa won 2-1. Photo: Leon Lord.

The Fiji Police Force will now look at all avenues in the law and respond within the law to an action plan drawn up by the Catholic Church.

This is in response to threats made by the head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, if their demands were not met.

Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said: “In particular regards to Action Plan 4, we are analysing the provisions of the law in the intent that is being discussed and reported.

“We will draw up our courses of action accordingly in dealing with issues now and ensuring that they play out according to law.”

The demands from the church came following a meeting the Archbishop had with 50 Catholic education leaders, the Permanent Secretary for Education, Alison Burchell, and reform consultant Jane Curran, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva on Thursday. At that meeting the Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji discussed the consideration of faith as a merit for appointing heads of schools at Catholic schools.

Four recommendations were also tabled by participants as courses of action for the Archbishop to discern as he plans his next strategy. Two of those action plans states that the church intends to take an aggressive and urgent stand on their request and the archdiocese will consider civil disobedience, which would include an open-air mass and the closure of 44 primary schools and 19 secondary schools.

Commissioner Qiliho said his officers would be deployed for action if there was a breach in the law. However they were yet to make any decision on the matter.

“We cannot preempt anything. We have to deal with it accordingly so we are going through that moment now where we are looking at the relevant provisions of the law to then plan our courses of action,” he said.

“We are analysing all statements that have been made, the reports that have been made in accordance to the law and if there are any breaches to the law, we will deal with it. Whether it is now or later, if there are breaches, we will deal with it.”

During the discernment process about the Open Merit Recruitment Selection (OMRS) with education leaders, Ms Burchell and Ms Curran stated that OMRS was an organisational framework that was part of the Civil Service Reform and had a history and was grounded in the Constitution.

They stressed that it aimed at higher performance and was a process that included selecting the best applicants for leadership positions.



During a mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral church yesterday, Father Arthur Leger clarified the action plans mapped out by Archbishop Chong.

“In action plan four, we will close all Catholic schools. If the spirit is moving him, he will do it, but he will not do it without the second part, the awareness that we have to be aware that we have to let go and let the spirit lead us,” Father Leger said.

When asked to explain about the Archbishop’s third action plan, Father Leger said: “To take an aggressive and urgent stand meant that we are not going to give up, we will continue to engage in dialogue and consultations.

“The Archbishop wants us to discern in this situation and the situation in the whole church and see where the Holy Spirit is moving the church.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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