FIJI ARMY HITS OUT AT TARAKINIKINI REPORT

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 3, 2001 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---The military has deplored attempts by the deposed Peoples Coalition government to irresponsibly carry unsubstantiated reports on its website.

The Coalition yesterday reported on its website (http://www.pcgov.org.fj) that the security forces had allegedly stopped Lieutenant Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini from traveling to New York, until investigations into his involvement in the attempted mutiny of November 2 were completed.

The report stated; "Tarakinikini was to depart this week to take up a job with the UN from 15 January. It is understood that Tarakinikini's travel documents have been seized and he has been stopped from departing for New York."

However, military spokesperson Lieutenant Ilaisa Tagitupou says the military denies the Coalition's allegations.

"The allegations which the military finds equally unacceptable had been made without any verification from Lt. Col. Tarakinikini, as he is the subject of the story," Lt. Tagitupou said.

"It can be confirmed that Col. Tarakinikini will be finalizing his personal administrative matters at the military headquarters prior to his departure. He will be seconded to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York."

When asked if the military will closely monitor the Coalition's website in future, Lt. Tagitupou said, "No, but at least they should verify their facts before they put any articles on the net."

No comments could be obtained from Col Tarakinikini last night.

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

 

FIJI’S RATU MARA TO RETURN TO SYDNEY FOR HEALTH REASONS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 3, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Fiji's former president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara is reportedly ill and is expected to return to Sydney, Australia this week for further medical treatment.

The paramount chief of the province of Bau fell ill at Christmas but doctors say his condition is now stable.

Ratu Mara is expected to return to the capital, Suva, today, after spending the New Year holiday at his home island of Lakeba.

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

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