World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Speight Pardon Not On But Mine Ok, Says Rabuka

USP Pacific Journalism Online: Wansolwara Online (USP):

USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ): Have your say:


SUVA (Pasifik Nius): Former Fiji coup maker and prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka says he does not deserve to be punished for his actions in 1987 as his coup succeeded, the Daily Post reports.

But, he says the country will see more coups if May 2000 frontman George Speight is pardoned.

In an editorial, the Daily Post warned that Fiji needed to get out of the "coup and gun culture", saying there was now a lot more violence in the country.

"We don't seem to have learnt much from the past though," the paper said.

"Just listen to the debate in Parliament. The lives of the people in whose name Rabuka and Speight acted are probably the same or worse [off] than before. Meanwhile, the rich have got richer.

"One thing we seem to agree on is that we don't need another gung-ho lieutenant-colonel or someone dreaming of a rags to riches scheme to stage another coup in the name of Fijian nationalism."

In the front page story by Mithleshni Gurdayal, Rabuka was quoted on the anniversary of his first coup on 14 May 1987 as saying the pardoning of Speight would be a catastrophe and the country would see more coups.

"I do not deserve to be punished because my coup was successful. I was the winner and I succeeded in my revolution and brought changes to the system," Rabuka told the Daily Post

"Speight failed in his coup and deserves to be punished," Rabuka said.

He said last night Fiji "will continue to have uncertainty until people change their attitude and follow the rule of law".

Rabuka said the pardon Speight for his attempted coup on 19 May 2000 would set a "dangerous precedent".

He said Fiji had gone through some major political and social changes since his military coups 15 years ago.

"We have had ups and downs since the first coup to 1999 where we had a government which had to battle its way in the 12 months it was in office and then we had 2000 - the unrest which evolved from the repercussions of Mahendra Chaudhry-led government," he said.

"And now we are all tightening our belts. Everyone is struggling with the economy that is suffering.

"We are not out of the woods as yet. And if we pardon Speight, then we are calling for more political unrest."

Rabuka stressed that no foreign or local would invest in Fiji, "if Speight was released".

Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said Fiji had a coup culture that started on 14 May 1987.

And since then the country had seen three coups, which had taken the country back 30 years, he said.

Chaudhry is one of the leaders who was held hostage twice by coup makers, first by Rabuka in 1987 and then by Speight in 2000.


This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. (C) 1996-2002 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC