FIJI SENATOR BRISTLES AT COMMANDER’S WARNING

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Aug. 31) – A Fiji government senator has criticized the country’s army commander for warning politicians against threatening national security.

Senator Apisai Tora has told the Upper House that Commodore Bainimarama is creating a dangerous situation by commenting on political speeches in parliament.

Last week, both the military commander and the police commissioner warned Senator Tora and others to refrain from threatening them or inciting violence, or face the full brunt of the law.

Commodore Bainimarama was quoted as saying Senator Tora should watch out as "such people should not be sitting in the Upper House."

But Senator Tora has questioned the right of the army commander to comment on political affairs and the utterances of senators.

Senator Tora also says police commissioner Andrew Hughes should show sensitivity to indigenous Fijian culture, customs and traditions.

But the army spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, has told the Fiji Times that the military is well versed with the likes of Senator Tora and will not be fooled by his outburst.

Captain Leweni said "there is a fine line between a political statement and one that threatens national security."

And in an editorial today, the FIJI SUN says the security forces owe their allegiance to the nation and not any government, and were responding to Senator Tora’s inflammatory remarks in the Senate.

September 1, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/

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