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FIJI: Vigils / Women in Black

Kia ora, this message is forwarded on behalf of the National Council of Women, Fiji, and the Fiji Women's Rights Movement. ___________________

As per our message circulated on 25 May 2000, there is a vigil of women and men from a wide variety of organisations who are coming together every day from 12 noon to 2pm at the Anglican cathedral in the centre of Suva. They are protesting against the violent hostage situation at parliament house. They come together for reflection, prayer and a silent vigil. Fiji women’s organisations have taken this important initiative.

If you wish to send a message of solidarity or support to the daily vigils or in support of the new Women In Black campaign (see media release #2 below) you can email the NCW at You can also send messages of support to the daily vigils via the Fiji Women's Rights Movement

___________________

Media statement # 2

National Council of Women, Fiji Secretariat - Suva, Fiji Islands Saturday, May 20, 2000 The National Council of Women, Fiji is calling all affiliate organisations - as well as all other women's Non Government Organisations and Members of Civil Society - to join in a Women in Black campaign as an indication of our 'silent protest' and denouncement of the overthrow of Hon. Chaudhary's democratically elected government. It will also be an indication of our anger and that we deplore the violent path taken by self-acclaimed spokes-people of all indigenous people in this beloved country. All women and supporters are urged to wear black or light a single candle/diya from tonight onwards in this campaign of civil outrage, launched by the National Council of Women, Fiji.

___________________

Media statement # 1

National Council of Women, Fiji Secretariat - Suva, Fiji Islands Saturday, May 20, 2000 The National Council of Women, Fiji (NCWF) wishes to express its condemnation of the illegal overthrow of the People's Coalition Government and the declaration rendering the Office of the Presidential Office as null and void. We call upon the instigators of this illegal civilian take-over of Fiji's democratically elected Government, led by Hon. Mahendra Chaudhary, to abandon their plans and release all those that are held in hostage in Parliament. Above all, we are appealing to all those that are behind this coup to uphold the 1997(Amended) Constitution and return the leadership of this country to Hon. Chaudhary and his Cabinet. We are of the firm belief that this course of action by those who are supposedly speaking for indigenous Fijians, will only bring more harm to the lives of the many people whose basic wish is to continue with their daily normal lives and in harmony with each other. We also wish to state our indignation and condemnation of the deplorable looting in the streets and the many people who took advantage of this chaotic situation. Recalling the NCWF's Mission Statement which recognises that our strength is our multi ethnic diversity which reflects the solidarity of women in Fiji, we call upon all women - as mothers, daughters, wives and sisters - to unite for the vision we all share for our country. To friends and colleagues in all communities around the country - we have all been touched by the militaristic actions of yesterday - let us unite as one nation to reclaim our right and call for the restoration of democratic governance, through peaceful means. Finally, we offer our support to Hon Chaudhary and all his colleagues who are detained and held as hostages. Our prayers of support go out to their families. The National Council of Women Fiji is an umbrella organisations established in 1968 for national, district and village women's groups. It has a membership of 52 affiliated organisations. It is multi ethnic, multi religious and non-political. Members of the National Council of Women, Fiji, include: ACS Old Girls' Association, Association of Anglican Women, Ba Soqosoqo Vakamarama, Blue Star Women's Club, Catholic Women's League, Dorcas Welfare Society, Fiji Association of Women Graduates, Fiji Disabled Peoples Association, Fiji Girmit Council of Women, Fiji Muslim Women's League, Fiji Nurses Association, Fiji Girl Guides Association, Fijian Teachers Asociation, Lautoka Rural Indian Women, Lautoka Samlit Women, Lautoka Market Women, Lawaki Village Women, Macuata Women's Forum, Makosoi Women's Club, Methodist Women's Fellowship, Methodist Old Scholars Association, Mualevu Tikina Women, Nadi Women's Advisory Council, Nadi Veilomani Club, Natokabau Youth Club, National Maathar Sangam, PPSEAWA Fiji, Rotuma Women's Association, Poor Relief Society, Soroptimist International, Salvation Army, Uruone Village Women's Club, Vuda Soqosoqo Vakamarama, Young Women's Christian Association, Methodist Deaconess Fellowship, Nadi Women's Collective, Nabouwalu Women's Club, Namatakula Women, Navutulevu Women, Nadi Tikina Women's Association, Saunaka Women, Nakavu Women, Tavua Tikina Women, Bua Women's Club, Nasegai District School Mothers.

___________________

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Peace Movement Aotearoa the national networking group for peace people PO Box 9314, Wellington, Aotearoa / New Zealand. tel +64 4 382 8129, fax 382 8173, website < http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/> Internet Peace Gateway <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

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