7 Mar 2006

Fiji's military commander supports the Government but says it must do the right thing

8:02 pm on 7 March 2006

Fiji's military commander says he supports the current SDL government but it must do the right thing.

Radio Fiji reports that Commodore Bainimarama said this during a crisis solving meeting with the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, convened by the acting president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi , in mid January.

The revelation comes just after another meeting today in which Commodore Bainimarama is understood to have briefed the acting president on why his senior officers have advised him to break off dialogue with the prime minister.

In that January meeting, Commodore Bainimarama is reported to have said the military was not opposed to the SDL government or any other government.

He said the military is doing all that is required of it to support the government as it has done since colonial times.

Commodore Bainimarama cited the naval surveillance of Fiji's marine economic zones, the numerous peacekeeping missions it has undertaken in line with state policy and the role of military engineers in village development tasks.

He says the reason the military is being perceived as anti-government is that the current administration has not done anything to right the wrongs committed in the Speight coup.