SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 3) - Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says he was just following his heart when he overthrew the Qarase government.

He has denied claims that rich Indian businessmen were bankrolling the military takeover.

In an exclusive interview, Bainimarama said claims by sacked police commissioner Andrew Hughes that there were "shadowy figures" working behind the scenes, were wrong.

"I've been asked who is my main adviser," he said.

Patting his chest, he said, "This is the biggest adviser. It tells you what to do and what not to do; yeah, your conscience. It tells you what you should be doing and what you should not be doing. I don't need any adviser to tell me. All I have to do is wake up in the morning and ask myself what should I be doing?"

He said since 2000, people had been advising him.

"Whether I take it on board or not is a different matter but they advised me one way or another."

Bainimarama said Mr. Hughes might have been "targeting" a group of honorary colonels as those who advised him on the coup.

In answer to who the colonels were, Bainimarama said, "Colonel Paul Manueli, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Colonel Tawakedrau and Ratu Epeli Ganilau."

Bainimarama said, "he wished" prominent Indian businessmen were bankrolling the coup but it was not.

"Oh, I wish but no one's encouraging me. No, no one is bankrolling me. When I go to functions people say 'thank you for what you are doing.'"

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