25 Aug 2004

Fiji Senator launches major criticism of police commissioner

7:43 am on 25 August 2004

A Fiji government senator has warned the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, to "watch out" in his comments about indigenous Fijians.

The Daily Post says Senator Tora told the Upper House yesterday that Mr Hughes had "the gall and the nerve" to come to Fiji and talk of domestic terrorists when his fellow Australians had "committed the most atrocious acts of terrorism."

Senator Tora said Australians had committed genocide and murdered a whole group of Aborigines two centuries ago and the effects of that action were still being felt.

He said people had to be careful when warning indigenous Fijians on what to say, adding that freedom of speech was a constitutional right in Fiji.

Senator Tora also attacked the executive director of the Citizens Constitutional Forum, the Rev Akuila Yabaki, and described him as a "black European."

He said the CCF was a politically-biased, anti-Fijian and dubious non-government agency whose translation of the 1997 Constitution should not be trusted.

Senator Tora, who was appointed to the Senate by the prime minister after he failed to win the 2001 general election, is facing coup related charges.