14 May 2004

Rabuka speaks out on coup anniversary

10:47 am on 14 May 2004

It's the 17 anniversary in Fiji today of Sitiveni Rabuka's first military coup in 1987 which set off a cycle of coups, inflamed racial polarisation and left a damaged economy

Mr Rabuka has told Radio Legend that the issues he fought for then are still at the centre of political discussion in Fiji today.

He says unfortunately people now have proof of what they did not want to believe in 1987.

"We have come a long way since then but we have not come a long way out of it. Unfortunately what a lot of people did not want to believe in '87 they now have proof of. That it was just a poorly-educated military officer who led the military coup coming out with his own ideas of race relations in Fiji."

Well it is now, how many years later... a former high profile banker leading the country just making sure that we are still polarised racially by his policies.

So what people said I made up in 1987 they are now seeing the proof of with the current impasse between the prime minister and Mr Chaudhry. Now we have living proof on both sides about the attitudes of our races towards each other.

Sitiveni Rabuka speaking on the 17th anniversary of the first military coup in Fiji.