"DEAR MISTER POLICE CHIEF" EDITORIAL IN FIJI’S DAILY POST

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 24, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Fiji's Police Commissioner Isikia Savua was today likened by a newspaper to a Phantom or a Batman in his fight against the country's crime, and then entered rebel George Speight and "the worst crime of the millennium."

In an open editorial addressed to Savua, the Daily Post said the police chief, a former military officer, had brought an inquiry into allegations of his involvement in Fiji's insurrection upon himself.

Addressed "Dear mister police chief," the editorial said in part:

"Bro, the commission of inquiry tasked to determine your alleged involvement in George Speight's coup does not depict a very good picture at all. At least, for your career, that is.

However, we, the people of Fiji, must give you the benefit of the doubt. After all, we follow a judicial system whereby the accused person is always innocent until proven guilty.

"This, of course, is not news to new to you as the maintenance of the laws of Fiji and its implementation rests squarely on your shoulders as Commissioner of Police. These are part of your responsibilities.

"These are the responsibilities that people believed you ignored at the height of the George Speight rule.

"But really bro, you brought this commission of inquiry [on] yourself and you cannot blame anyone else.

"In fact, people say you goofed up. Either you got cold feet after Speight held [deposed Prime Minister] Mahendra Chaudhry and his government hostage, or you were lost basically because you didn't know what to do.

"The other scenario, of course, was that you knew of the plot but because it did not go according to plan, you decided to save your skin and sat on the fence observing the coup from a bird's eye view.

"But bro, that's not your style.

"You are not that indecisive as it's just not you.

"The whole country knows of your professional training as a military commander and are aware of your capabilities... You fought lawlessness with the vigor it deserved... You brought a ray of hope to the many victims of violent crimes ...

"To many of them you were like the Phantom, or perhaps Batman...

"In fact, through your leadership the police force slowly but surely began to be in control of the crime situation.

"Then the crunch came. Enter Speight. The worst crime of the millennium was committed but there was no Commissioner Savua. Neither the Phantom nor Batman were there either."

Title -- 2919 FIJI: Dear mister police chief Date -- 24 August 2000 Byline – None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- PN, Daily Post, 24/8/00 Copyright -- PN, DP Status -- Unabridged

USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/  USP Journalism on the Fiji crisis (UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/  USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ): http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm  Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook 

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