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The same figures are behind two attempted coups


PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

Same figures behind 19 May and 2 November attempted coups

Issue No: 179; 6 November 2000

The same figures are behind the 19 May and the 2 November attempted coups.

A columnist with the Daily Post, Mesaki Koroi, who has strong connections with the Interim Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, writes in today's issue that the personalities behind the two acts are the same:

"it is obvious that the undercurrents of the volcano that erupted in Parliament on May 19 is far from being silent. These rebels will do everything in their power to take over the army. Once they do that then they can control government. The military top brass always suspected that efforts to destabilise the military are being orchestrated from outside QEB. Now the cloak is getting very thin. The identity of those involved is a fore gone conclusion".

Koroi writes that three high chiefs, one each from Cakaudrove, Kadavu and Naitasiri, met with a very senior military officer at a house in Laucala Beach Estate on the eve of the attempted coup of 2 November and gave the green light. Yesterday's Daily Post published 4 pictures with faces blackened. Koroi writes further that the plot was

"to neutralise Commodore Bainimarama, install a new army commander who will overthrow the current interim government - installing a new cabinet that will perhaps see Steve [Rabuka] back in the driving seat".

The article asks Rabuka to come clean.

Koroi also questions Rabuka's attempts to negotiate with the terrorists on 19 May and the rebel soldiers on 2 November.

The military last night categorically denied that it had asked Rabuka to mediate. Yesterday's Fiji Times quoted Rabuka as saying that the Ministry of Home Affairs had asked him to talk to the rebels. The Minister for Home Affairs, Cakaudrove Senator and high chief Ratu Talemo Ratakele has not confirmed this. Rabuka also stated that he kept in touch with Col. Mataiasi Lomaloma. Lomaloma is Rabuka's relative. Rabuka also stated he talked to Lt. Charles Dakuiliga and Warrant Officer Apaitia Waqaniboro, how were hospitalised later that night by the loyalist soldiers.

Meanwhile the government owned radio station reported last night that the military has confiscated Rabuka's mobile phone and the Government-issued vehicle in which he was harbouring a rebel soldier involved in the shootout at the barracks on 21 November.

END 6 November 2000.


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