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Military Issued Weapons Still Missing

Issue No: 135; 20 October 2000

Dozens of military issued weapons are still missing, weeks after the military began arresting terrorists.

It is understood that 32 military issued weapons, including M-16 rifles, and other high-tech weapons are still in the hands of terrorist supporters. Yesterday the military raided the home of an ex-CRW (military's Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit) member and found several rounds of ammunition and a magazine at his home, which is next to the home of terrorist George Speight.

The military has also found numerous weapons with terrorists which were not issued by the military. It is believed that the terrorists had a stockpile of weapons, most brought into the country illegally before and after 19 May.

Meanwhile escaped prisoner Alifereti Nimacere and terrorists Tevita Poese and Simione Drole are still on the lose.

END

Children severely affected by regime decisions Issue No: 134; 20 October 2000

Children's education has been severely affected the interim regime's financial decisions, says the Fiji Principals Association (FPA).

In his presidential report, the FPA's President Kumaran Subramani states that the schools have fallen victims to the interim regimes financial policies. He told the members of the Association at their Annual Conference yesterday: "Educational institutions, especially non-government schools, are experiencing the effects of the crisis. The 50% reduction in the per capita grant has exacerbated the financial constraints of these institutions directly affecting the provision of quality education".

The statements come soon after it was revealed that the members of the interim cabinet received a massive pay increase after the per capita grants were reduced and after the civil servants pay was reduced by 12.5%.

Meanwhile the Save the Children's Fund reports that children have suffered the most and are the first victims of the 19 May and subsequent terrorist activities. The Fund's Fiji Manager, Irshad Ali is quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying that children "have seen that one way of getting things done is through force. It has become cultured into these young people. It's become a way of life. Thirteen years later [after 1987 military coups] they go and take the Government and now they use guns. The same is happening in the school system now. They see this is a way of life now." He stated that children even of ages 7 and younger had become aggressive petty thieves now.

END

Top businessmen behind Terrorists - Police Issue No: 133; 20 October 2000

The police have found evidence that top businessmen in Fiji were behind the Speight terrorist group.

A report in today's Fiji Times quotes police sources and states that several prominent chiefs were also involved in the terrorist take-over of the Parliament. It states that one high chief attended a meeting with the Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit, the unit which helped Speight storm the Parliament, two days before the take-over.

Those implicated in the police findings include tope businessmen in Fiji, politicians, top civil servants and some military personnel. Police plan to lay charges on these suspects.

Meanwhile a Senator, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that because a lot of money is involved, the investigation will not see the light of the day as "people will be bought off".

END

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