31 Jan 2006

Fiji's military commander refuses to apologise for statements criticising the Government

4:39 pm on 31 January 2006

The Fiji military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has refused to apologise for statements against the Government, offsetting chances of a reprieve from police investigations.

The Fiji Live website reports that the Home Affairs Minister Josefa Vosanibola had agreed to withdraw his complaint to police if the army chief apologised.

Commodore Bainimarama says he was only doing his job and to apologise would be an insult.

He says under the constitution the military is required to provide the defence and security and most importantly ensure the well-being of the people of Fiji.

Commodore Bainimarama says he sees no reason why he should be discouraged or penalised for doing what he is obligated to do.

In his statement at Christmas, Commodore Bainimarama claimed the government was endorsing the perpetrators of the 2000 coup and said the military was ready to replace it.