3 Jun 2003

Former Fiji PM says truth commission could help with reconciliation after 2000 coup

8:45 am on 3 June 2003

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says national reconciliation would be meaningless unless the government identifies the victims and the aggressors in the May 2000 coup.

Mr Rabuka says the state must take up the grievances of the victims and the aggressors and try to reach some common ground.

The Fiji Times says Mr Rabuka made the comment after being re-elected president of the Fijian Political Party, the SVT, which he had led in the 1990's.

He says relatives of the aggressors are trying to be identified as the victims, but they were not held captive in parliament nor were they removed from government office.

Mr Rabuka says a Truth Commission similar to the one in South Africa would do a good job as it had done in that country.

He says the South Africans did not stop prosecuting people but they found the answers people were looking for.

Mr Rabuka says the Qarase government has done nothing for Mahedra Chaudhry and the women ministers who were ousted from power and held hostage.