FIJI’S RATU MARA’S CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR OVER COUP

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FIJI’S RATU MARA’S CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR OVER COUP

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 25, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---My conscience is clear.

That's the word from Government House yesterday to claims that Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara had encouraged coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka to overthrow the Bavadra government in 1987.

No other details were made available.

However, the controversy has taken another twist with the revelation that the target is Ratu Sir Kamisese and members of his family.

It's a well-orchestrated ploy to destroy Ratu Sir Kamisese, sources revealed last night. A former Cabinet Minister in the Rabuka government is believed to have squealed.

Former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka claimed in his recently launched book, "Rabuka of Fiji," that he had he had played golf with Ratu Sir Kamisese four days before the May 14 military coup that toppled the democratically elected Bavadra government.

According to Rabuka's account of the event, the two men lunched privately where Rabuka outlined his plan to take over the government.

Ratu Sir Kamisese allegedly assured Rabuka that he would take care of any reprisals from the British and the Americans.

However, documents cited yesterday showed that on the day in question Ratu Sir Kamisese was playing golf with two visitors from Samoa, Falo and Solo.

They later met up with Rabuka, who had come independently and invited him to lunch with them at Falo's residence.

The topic of discussion centered on how Fijians had taken to the streets demonstrating against the newly elected government.

The concern was that in the end the Fijians will be accountable when the police move in.

To claim that Ratu Sir Kamisese had inspired Rabuka to conduct the coup is factually and morally wrong, the source said.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fijilive.

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