23 Feb 2006

Fiji senior military officers back commander

9:35 am on 23 February 2006

Senior officers of the Fiji military have expressed their full support and loyalty to their commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

A military spokesman, Lt Col Orisi Rabukawaqa, says senior cadre of the military have been meeting over the past two weeks to discuss issues affecting the institution.

He says during this time, they have reflected on their oath of allegiance and reaffirmed their loyalty and support to the institution and to Commodore Bainimarama.

Lt Col Rabukawaqa says there was unanimous support for the commander's stance on coup-related activities, the continued promotion of the ideology of ethno-nationalism and the preparation in the lead-up to the general election.

He says senior officers felt it was time they took ownership of these issues as they affect the institution and its constitutional role of the defence and security as well as the wellbeing of Fiji and its people.

Lt Col Rabukawaqa says the events of 2000 are not out of sight and unless the deceit and lies of the ideology of ethno-nationalism are continuously exposed, there would always be opportunity for instability in Fiji.