FORMER FIJI HOSTAGE LOOKS TO LEGAL ACTION TO STAY IN POWER

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 27, 2000 – Radio Australia)---One of Fiji's hostages released over the weekend, Lavinia Padaras, says that legal action is an option the former Chaudhry government will consider to assert its right to stay in power.

Radio Australia correspondent Anne Barker reports that the Indo-Fijian hostages also have written a letter calling for a speedy resolution to the crisis:

"The deposed prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and other Indo-Fijian hostages have written a letter via the Red Cross to Josefa Iloilo, the former Vice President, who's acting as a mediator in talks between the military and coup leader George Speight.

"They have called on him and all other parties to make a bigger effort to resolve the crisis quickly and peacefully.

"Also, one of the four women hostages released at the weekend, Lavinia Padaras, says legal action is one certain option for the ousted government once the crisis is over -- to uphold the 1997 Constitution and assert its rights to stay in power.

"Padaras said, ‘The Justice system is there for us to fall back on if we have to.’

"Ann Barker, Radio Australia, Suva."

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

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