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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 4, 2005) – The Police consider the military a threat to national stability if the Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill is passed.

This was part of a police intelligence assessment, which looked at national security scenarios that could result from the enactment of the Bill.

Police spokeswoman, acting Assistant Superintendent Unaisi Vuniwaqa, said police were monitoring the situation.

"Right now the situation is calm but we are monitoring the situation," Acting ASP Vuniwaqa said.

Police have now increased its security protocol at the Parliament Complex with stringent measures such as checkpoints, plain-clothes policemen and the presence of Tactical Response Unit.

No one would be granted entry to parliament if they do not produce identity cards or confirmation from within the parliamentary secretariat of their business there.

The security arrangements were beefed up with Monday's start to the new session of parliament.

Acting ASP Vuniwaqa denied that the intelligence assessment was linked to recent moves by police to ask reserve soldiers serving within police ranks to state their allegiance.

The soldiers, who were part of the military's territorial force, were asked to state whether their allegiance was to police or the military.

"It's been something that has been on-going even before the Bill and we just wanted to gauge how many men we could rely on in case of emergency," Acting ASP Vuniwaqa said.

Meanwhile, the military denied that it intended to remove the Government if it passed the Bill. Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Orisi Rabukawaqa said if there were any such threats by the military, these would have already been dealt with through regular meetings between military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and police commissioner Andrew Hughes.

"The police and the military have always had a good working relationship and this issue could have been dealt with through the regular liaison between the Commander and the Commissioner," Lt Col Rabukawaqa said.

He said the public should disregard an eight-page statement leaked to the media, which stated that the military would overthrow the Government if the Bill was passed.

"That statement was a mere draft document and was just a thought. It did not reflect what the military intends on doing and it never was published or given as a submission to any committee," Lt Col Rabukawaqa said.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Fiji Times: http://www.fijitimes.com/

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