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Captive's Son Pleads For His Mother

CAPTIVE'S SON PLEADS FOR HIS MOTHER
27 May 2000: 3.00Pm
By Salesh Kumar
USP Journalism Programme

SUVA: The son of Fiji's Minister of Women, Lavenia Padarath, one of the hostages held by gunment in the Parliament complex, has sent a plea to rebel leader George Speight.

This follows the announcement that rebel leader George Speight has stopped families of the hostages from taking their loved ones food, clothes and toiletries.

Mrs Padarath's son, Ben Padarath, was speaking on radio FM96 today.

"George, I plead to you, please allow me to see [his mother and other hostages] so that I can relate to the families that they are okay...that they are fine," he said.

"I have got all their stuff along with Mr Scott (director John Scott of the Red Cross) and we are just waiting what you have to say. We thought that it would be best to go to the media to make this plea directly to you. So Mr Speight, allow us."

Meanwhile, negotiation talks between the Bose Levu Vakaturaga (Great Council of Chiefs) gets underway this afternoon at Veiuto.

Speight ruled out any concessions from his side, according to Radio Fiji.

Speight says his supporters want the abrogation of the 1997 constitution, the provision of immunity from prosecution of him and his men and the chiefs' recognition of his self-imposed regime.

Also, he has not withdrawn his call for the President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara to step down.

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