20 Jul 2005

Family of former Fiji president attacks Reconciliation Bill

10:12 am on 20 July 2005

The family of the former Fiji president deposed during the Speight coup has strongly attacked the government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Radio Legend reports that Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara's daughter, Senator Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau, is questioning why the government is still pushing ahead with the Bill when the victims of the coup want the law to take its course.

Adi Koila, who herself was held hostage by Speight's gunmen during the coup, says the process of reconciliation involves the victims and the wrongdoers, and there is no attempt at true reconciliation through the proposed Bill.

She is also asking whether the people who drew up the legislation would still push ahead with the Bill if they were victims of a coup.

Adi Koila wants to know what would happen if a month after this legislation is passed someone carries out a coup to oust the Qarase government because the amnesty for political crimes would cover the new coup perpetrators.

Adi Koila says the Mara family who suffered greatly during and after the coup were never approached by the law makers about the bill.

She says the whole Bill is against what her father, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, had stood for all his life.