FIJI’S LT. COL. TARAKINIKINI GETS UN EXTENSION

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FIJI’S LT. COL. TARAKINIKINI GETS UN EXTENSION

SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 4, 2002 – Daily Post/FijiLive)---Lieutenant Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini’s term with the United Nations has been extended for a year.

Lt. Col. Tarakinikini will stay in New York until March next year, his wife Amele confirmed in a letter to the Daily Post.

In making the announcement, Mrs. Tarakinikini, came out in defense of her husband.

In the letter to the Daily Post dated February 1, Mrs. Tarakinikini said she was very disappointed at rumors about her husband being connected to the May 19, 2000 coup and the November 2, 2000 mutiny.

"My husband is innocent and God knows. If my husband was at fault, we wouldn’t have made it to New York," Mrs. Tarakinikini said in her letter.

She said that her husband’s enemies were within the military and named the Army Commander, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, as the main culprit.

Mrs. Tarakinkini said the Army Commander had been trying to discredit her husband.

She admitted that Commodore Bainimarama usually felt insecure and threatened when her husband was around.

Mrs. Tarakinikini said her husband was not happy with how things were going in the military.

Commenting on rumors of their return to Fiji in March, Mrs. Tarakinikini confirmed their contract had been extended.

Lt. Col. Tarakinikini was the military’s spokesman during the political upheaval of May 19, 2000, but he was removed by the Commander because of allegations against him of involvement with the coup makers.

Lt. Co. Viliame Seruvakula, who was the Commanding Officer of the 3FIR during the May 19, 2000 coup, told the Daily Post that Lt. Col. Tarakinikini was involved in the illegal takeover by George Speight and his group.

Lt. Col. Tarakinikini’s name had been mentioned at the court martial.

It’s alleged that Lt. Col. Tarakinikini, together with another senior military officer, gave the clearance for ammunition and arms from the camp, to be taken into Parliament.

Mrs. Tarakinikini said before they left for the United Nations posting in New York that her husband went through four investigations, but was cleared.

She urged the people of Fiji, especially their enemies, to leave them alone as her husband has been doing a wonderful job at the UN.

No comments could be had from the Army Commander yesterday.

For additional reports from The Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources/Fiji Live.

For additional reports from FijiLive, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijiLive.

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