27 Nov 2006

Fiji Commander again tells Australia to keep out of Fiji's affairs

5:55 am on 27 November 2006

Fiji's military commander has warned against an Australian invasion of the country and told the government to keep out of Fiji's internal affairs.

Commodore Bainimarama told the Sunday Post newspaper that an Australian intervention would be of no good to Fiji.

He added that the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, was selling Fiji's sovereignty to the Australians.

His warning follows statements by the Australian foreign minister who said a coup was imminent in Fiji and that three Australian warships were close to Fiji with at least 200 troops on board.

Commodore Bainimarama has also condemned a police raid on the office of Fiji's president last Thursday to look for minutes of his meeting with Ratu Josefa Iloilo before he left for New Zealand.

Following the raid, the military ordered all its territorial troops and naval reserves, numbering over 3,000, to report into camp and posted guards at Government House to prevent anyone going to the President's Office.

Commodore Bainimarama says the raid was the biggest insult on Fiji and its people and has told the country's Australian police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, to pack up and leave.

The police said they had a court warrant to search President Iloilo's office.