19 Jun 2003

Fiji MP says the military is a threat to national security

8:30 am on 19 June 2003

The brother of Fiji coup front man, George Speight, has told parliament that the military is a threat to national security.

Government MP, Samisoni Tikonisau, said it was the miltary commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who was causing instability by threatening to shoot people who were causing instability.

Mr Tikonisau quoted from a recent magazine article in which Commodre Bainimarama warned that if certain people created trouble, they will find that contrary to events in 2000, the army will not be standing around in the streets twiddling their thumbs.

Mr Tikonisau said the military leadership was trying to create trouble by claiming that some elements in society were trying to create instability.

He made the comments when the minister for home affairs, Joketani Cokanasiga, sought parliamentary approval to continue stationing troops on nukulau island where Speight is held, and at the Monasavu hydro dam.

The dam was siezed by rebels at the time of the coup and electricity supplies disrupted for almost two months.

But Mr Tikonisau, who has two brothers, George and Jim Speight on Nukulau, opposed the stationing of troops on the island.

He said his relatives and the people of their home province, Tailevu, were not a threat to anyone.