15 May 2007

Former Fiji MP claims she was told to warn her colleagues about making public statements

10:05 am on 15 May 2007

A former minister in Fiji's ousted SDL government says she has been instructed to warn her colleagues, including the deposed prime minister, to refrain from making public statements or face being put in prison.

The Fiji Sun reports that the minister of state in the former Prime Minister's Office, Losena Salabula, says she was given this message when summoned to the military camp last Tuesday.

Ms Salabula says the instruction came from the commander of the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment, Lt Col Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara.

She claims the officer told her that the military had been lenient with them but if they did not take heed of the warning, they could be rounded up and taken to Naboro Prison.

Ms Salabula quotes Lt Col Uluilakeba as saying, "Tell Qarase to stop talking from his village in Mavana and the Roko Tui Dreketi (former education minister Ro Teimumu Kepa) not to say too much."

Ms Salabuka says she was told the army knows what was going on inside the SDL and at all their meetings and that the court case the party was pursuing was a waste of time.

She says she was told the SDL party would never return to power.