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Military says it will deal with dissension ‘severely’

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 2, 2009) – The Fiji military is monitoring a group of men it believes is trying to gain a platform to lodge their "political agendas".

The military’s Land Force Commander Colonel Pita Driti told FijiLive they had apprehended some members of the group about three weeks ago.

He said the group appears to be a faction of the nationalist Taukei movement, largely responsible for the 2000 insurrection.

"These men were caught delivering newsletters in trucks with propaganda that demeaned the military. They were actually trying to wind down the military in the name of the indigenous cause," he said.

"Right now we are looking at some factions of the Taukei movement who are actually nationalists. This is the faction that is not recognised even by founders of the movement."

All this has to do with "agendas for the defeated politicians and losers," Col Driti said.

The no-nonsense military strongman also expects some opposition to the military’s decision last week to cancel the annual conference of the Methodist Church, Fiji’s largest and most influential religion.

But, he has warned that dissidents would be dealt with severely.

"I want to tell those who are intending to create instability and uprising to just calm down. Relax; my officers are ready for any such event."

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