FIJI PROVINCE BARS MILITARY ‘TRUTH’ CAMPAIGN

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 5) - The Fiji military is not allowed to take its truth and justice campaign to Kadavu.

[PIR editor’s note: Kadavu is the large island south of Fiji’s Viti Levu Island. According to a March 14 story in PIR, the Fiji military has defended its " truth campaign," saying its objective was to tell the people the truth about the 2000 coup and why Fiji should not go in the same direction if another Indo-Fijian was to become the next Prime Minister.]

The Kadavu Provincial Council resolved that they would not welcome the "so-called truth and justice campaign to enter the villages."

Council chairman Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo said the council hoped that army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama would respect their decision.

"And likewise, we expect our sons of Kadavu in the military to honor our position on the current standoff," he said.

Josateki said like the Great Council of Chiefs, the provincial council was concerned about the current standoff between the military and the caretaker government and the negative impact it would have on the country.

Josateki said they believed the impasse was uncalled for and should be resolved immediately for the good of the nation.

He had earlier suggested that should the army wish to enter Kadavu, protocol demanded that they seek approval from the council, which they did not do.

Josateki said Kadavu would stand by the current government and wished to live by democratic principles.

He said despite the many difficulties faced by the people of Kadavu, the provincial council and the chiefs had pledged their support to the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanu Government.

Josateki said the council believed that given another five-year term, the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanu Party would be able to deliver on its promises to the people of Kadavu.

April 6, 2006

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