6 Dec 2006

Senior Fiji police and public servants taken to military barracks -Senate ordered to disperse

2:34 pm on 6 December 2006

Following last night's military coup in Fiji, events have moved rapidly today.

More than 100 armed soldiers surrounded the headquarters of the Police Tactical Response Unit at Nasinu just outside Suva this morning.

The acting police commissioner, Moses Driver, and his senior officers were reported to be meeting inside.

They had initially refused to surrender to the military but at about 12 thirty pm local time they gave in to the soldiers' demands.

Mr Driver and assistant commissioner, Kemueli Bulamainaivalu, who was involved in the failed attempt to arrest Commodore Bainimarama in New Zealand last week, were taken to the military barracks in Nabua.

At parliament, soldiers surrounded the complex, ordered a halt to the proceedings of the Senate which was in session and ordered senators to disperse.

Ministerial chief executives, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, Jioji Kotobalavu, and the chairman of the Public Service Commission, Stuart Hugget, have also been taken from a meeting to the military barracks.

Soliders have also removed material from the parliamentary offices of prime minister Laisenia Qarase's party, the SDL.

The government printer has confirmed printing a State of Emergency Decree which has not been proclaimed yet.


There has been widespread condemnation of Commodore Bainimarama assuming power, including this from the Fiji Indian Association in Wellington.

Its vice president, Salim Singh, read out a prepared statement:

"The assocation views with total repugnance, the removal of an elected government at gunpoint and the action by the Commodore, Frank Bainimarama, is unconstiutional, illegal and against all proper human behaviour"

The vice president of Wellington's Fiji Indian Association, Salim Singh.