12 Jul 2005

Fiji military threatens to arrest what it calls "destabilisers"

10:18 am on 12 July 2005

Fiji's military commander has threatened to arrest anyone who tries to destabilise the country the way it was done during the 2000 coup.

The Fiji Times reports that Commodore Bainimarama has issued the warning in an 8-page statement.

Commodore Bainimarama has singled out the attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, and the chief executive of the reconciliation ministry, Apisalome Tudreu, as being among those whose work is destabilising Fiji.

Commodore Bainimarama says the government is forcing the country into the same anarchy it faced in 2000 through its Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

He warns that the military is ready to arrest and bring to justice any destabilisers just as it did with Speight and his group.

Commodore Bainimarama has reminded people of May 28, 2000, when the military sought executive authority from the president because Speight's rebels took to the streets, burned the TV station and shot a policeman to death.

He says they did that because they knew that the military, the police, the judiciary and the director of public prosecutions had been neutralised.

Commodore Bainimarama says that is exactly what Fiji will face if the Reconciliation and Unity Bill is passed.