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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 30, 2002 - Daily Post/Pasifik Nius)---Post-coup Fiji is becoming a dangerous country to live in, claims a daily newspaper in the wake of the strangling of a taxi driver and stabbing of a young mother this week.

"The recent brutal attacks on two people that has left one dead and another fighting for her life has again hammered this fact home," the Daily Post said today.

The Post warned that the two attacks were merely the tip of the iceberg.

Almost daily, newspapers have featured stories of gang rapes of young girls, murders, burglaries and muggings as serious crime has become commonplace since the attempted coup on May 19, 2000.

Nausori taxi driver Tir Murti was killed sometime last weekend in the course of trying to make an honest living, the Post said in an editorial.

"He was strangled with a wire, probably while trying to stop his assailants from making off with his earnings, with which he would have been reluctant to part with, having toiled for it throughout the day," the paper said.

On Monday, it was the turn of Lautoka housewife Premila Devi in an attack described in the paper's front page headline as the stabbing of a "Good Samaritan."

"She was savagely attacked and stabbed in her own home in broad daylight," the Post said.

"Her five-year-old daughter witnessed the attack. She is probably scarred for life.

"Imagine the shock and horror of Devi's relatives when they heard her screams, and saw her staggering and gasping for breath, blood oozing from the wounds in her neck."

The Daily Post said that ordinary Fiji Islanders were now becoming nonchalant about the attacks.

"Violent crime has become a fact of life in Fiji. It is part of the dangers and risks we have to live with. It is no exaggeration to say that criminals are taking over our society," the paper said.

"The ordinary people live in constant fear of them.

"We no longer feel safe in our own homes, even as we barricade ourselves behind wires, grilles and electronic devices.

"The law is clearly no longer much of a deterrent for the criminally inclined.

"They carry on devastating the lives of people without seeming to harbor any fears for the police, or the courts."

The Daily Post blamed the rampant rise of crime on "the product of corrupt and inefficient governments. For this, society pays a dear price."

Title -- 3502 CRIME: Daily Post condemns wave of post-coup attacks in Fiji Date -- 30 January 2002 Byline -- None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Daily Post/PN, 30/1/02 Copyright – PN 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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