19 Apr 2007

Fiji businesses keen to see soldiers back on the streets to end a spate of robberies

1:51 pm on 19 April 2007

The Fiji Retailers Association is calling for soldiers to be re-deployed at roadside checkpoints to maintain security.

The soldiers were withdrawn from the checkpoints earlier this month and police took over the positions in line with the interim administration's plan to move towards normalisation.

The Retailers Association president, Himmat Lodhia, says the number of robberies and crimes increased as soon as the military withdrew from the checkpoints.

Mr Lodhia says many retailers want the armed soldiers back.

"We have seen that the military manning the checkpoints was very effective. And we would like to see them come back as retailers, because it definitely gives us a piece of mind and also a very peaceful sleep."

Mr Lodhia says he is sure people won't feel intimidated by the soldiers.