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Bomb Designer Militaryman: Police

PEOPLES COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

Issue No: 61; 24 September 2000

Bomb Designer Militaryman: Police

The bomb found at the Centra Hotel in Suva on Friday 15 September was designed by a person with a military background. This was stated by the Acting Commissioner of Police, Moses Driver on Friday 22 Sept. to the Fiji Sun.

According to the Sun (23 Sept), Driver further added:

"if the bomb had detonated then the impact would have been so great that it could result in a lot of destruction and fatalities"

The military has also stated that the bomb was made by a professional and was intended to cause massive damage to property and life.

The Fiji Hotel Association denied that the bomb was destructive. The hotel workers have criticised the Centra Hotel management of not informing the workers and the guests of the presence of the bomb in the Hotel complex thereby compromising the safety and security of hotel workers and guests.

Ganesh Chand

24 Sept 2000.

PEOPLES COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

Issue No: 60; 24 September 2000

Regime will retaliate: PSC

The Public Service Commission will retaliate if the Fiji Public Service Association and the Fiji Teachers Union continue to "destabilise" the nation.

The PSC has claimed that the FPSA and the FTU "are deeply engaged in politics". A PSC statement warned these two public sector unions to discontinue their efforts to destabilise the public sector. PSC's Permanent Secretary, Anare Jale sated:

"the FPSA and FTU should discontinue their political activities and efforts to destabilise the public service through trade sanctions and industrial actions."

"Enough is enough and the unions should not be surprised if the Commission decides to take retaliatory action".

The FPSA and the FTU are two of the largest trade unions in Fiji. They have maintained that the survival of trade unionism in Fiji depends crucially on the existence of a democratic political framework. Both the unions have been vocal against the attempted coup and the attempted abrogation of the 1997 Constitution.

Ganesh Chand

24 Sept 2000.

PEOPLES COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

Issue No: 59; 23 September 2000

Senior Military Officers plotted insurrection

Some senior military officers plotted the overthrow of the Commander of the Fiji Military Forces a few weeks before the release of the hostages.

According to a report in today's Daily Post (23 September), an army officer revealed that some senior officers had plotted to destabilise the Military so as to force the Army Commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama to resign.

The officer claimed that some advisers to the Commander, mostly of the ranks of colonels and lieutenant colonels, but also including other officers of the ranks of captain and above, were behind the take-over of the military barracks in Labasa. The Post report stated:

"when Lieutenant Rupeni Vosayaco led the mutiny at the Sukanaivalu Barrack in Labasa on July 4, the colonels individually rang him from the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Suva to congratulate him. They also pledged their full support. The officer said the Labasa move was initiated from the QEB [Queen Elizabeth Barracks]. Lieutenant Vosayaco has given the names of these officers to Lieutenant Colonel Jonetani Kaukimoce, who is heading the Board of Inquiry into the Labasa insurrection."

The Post stated further that according to the officer the military planned to storm the Parliament but the Labasa mutiny foiled the plan. This was soon after the military declared a Military Exclusion Zone in Muanikau.

The informant also claimed that the same officers also had a hand in the Korovou and Savusavu civilian occupation of Government offices. "These were all aimed at destabilising Commodore Bainimarama with the ultimate aim of forcing him to resign", wrote the Daily Post. The Officer claimed:

"When the country was in tatters, the officers knew very well how to get the Commander out. It was the same week that the Qaranivalu, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, led a group of civilians into QEB."

The officer said the Qaranivalu had acted on the advice of these officers. "The plan was to box the Commander into a tight corner which will force him to resign. What happened in Labasa and Korovou was supposed to climax with the Qaranivalu's visit."

The Qaranivalu - the high chief of Naitasiri who also was a key Speight supporter - had visited the Military Commander with about 200 of his subjects apparently asking him in the traditional Fijian way to step down. The Commander had refused this request. In the Parliament Complex, the terrorists were certain that the army Commander would be overthrown and replaced by their person in the military. Who their person was is still not totally certain.

It is believed that attempts to overthrow the Commander are continuing. The country has been rife with rumours that there would be another coup which will include the overthrow of the Commander. Dates floated include October 6, the day the High Court is to hear the Peoples Coalition case against the military's attempted abrogation of the 1997 Constitution.

Ganesh Chand

23 Sept 2000.


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