20 Jan 2004

Fiji Police and Military deny that a national security alert has been heightened

5:11 pm on 20 January 2004

Both the Fiji military and police have denied that a national security alert has been heightened following reports of possible instability in the country as a result of a split within the military.

Fiji Police spokesman, Mesake Koroi, says there is an ongoing discussion about national security, but no alert has been issued.

And the army spokesman, Warrant Officer Neumi Leweni, says there's no military alert.

A division within the military has been reported over the push by the commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, to continue in his position after his contract ends in March.

The Information Minister, Simione Kaitani, has accused the media of being irresponsible by portraying a picture of fear in the country.

He says the alert instead is being heightened against international terrorism at Nadi airport.

"Right now, just following the American position, there seems to be a heightened, a very cautious approach especially at our international airport in Nadi. So if you arrive at Nadi, the security at Nadi is very very tight now. And it's nothing to do with this local issue, but it is very much an international issue and they have taken one step up in terms of operation and security at the airport,"

Dur 26"

Fiji's Information minister, Simione Kaitani.