FIJI’S MARA KNEW OF 1987 COUPS, SAYS RABUKA; MARA DENIES CLAIM

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FIJI’S MARA KNEW OF 1987 COUPS, SAYS RABUKA; MARA DENIES CLAIM

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 14, 2000 - The Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara knew in advance of the 1987 coups, Sitiveni Rabuka claims in a biography to be released in Australia today.

Mr. Rabuka claims he met Ratu Sir Kamisese on May 10, 1987 at the Pacific Harbour Golf Club and discussed military options to overthrow Dr. Timoci Bavadra's government.

Ratu Sir Kamisese yesterday denied the claims in the book.

Permanent Secretary to the President, Joseph Brown, said Ratu Sir Kamisese would issue a full statement today.

The book, Rabuka of Fiji, was written by Central Queensland University lecturer John Sharpham.

During discussions over lunch, the book claims, Mr. Rabuka told Ratu Sir Kamisese the options available to overthrow the Labour Government were a military coup or an uprising.

The coup leader says he told Ratu Sir Kamisese of fears that the United States or Great Britain might intervene if the army took over.

Sharpham claims Ratu Sir Kamisese's response was: "Leave those to me."

A launch of the book will be held in Suva next week.

In his previous biography, No Other Way, Mr. Rabuka claimed he had acted alone in conducting the 1987 coups.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

 

FIJI PM CHAUDHRY REFUSES TO BE DRAWN IN ON COUP REVELATIONS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 15, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has refused to be drawn into local media reports that claim the country's President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, new about the 1987 military coups beforehand.

Mr. Chaudhry, who was part of the late Bavadra government that was ousted in the military takeover, said coup leader and former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka is always full of surprises.

"Mr. Rabuka makes this claim from time to time. I think that Government House is issuing a statement on that. According to the papers, the President has denied the claim in the book and that Government House is issuing a statement on the subject today. And I'd leave it at that," Mr. Chaudhry said

A spokesperson at Fiji's Government House said a statement will not be issued today as the Official Secretary was in Nadi, sending Ratu Mara off to Hawai‘i to convene a special meeting of the Standing Committee of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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