4 Jun 2002

Fiji Labour Party wants compensation for coup victims

11:28 am on 4 June 2002

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has called for compensation for victims of the May 2000 coup, saying national reconciliation will never be achieved without it.

Mr Chaudhry says victims of rampant lawlessness must be compensated for their losses and personal injury.

The Fiji Times quotes the ousted prime minister as saying victims suffered losses in the millions when their properties were torched by rebels.

In Suva alone, he says, the looting and burning cost the business community more than 15 million US dollars.

In rural areas, the forced occupation of farms and the destruction of homes, crops and livestock added millions more to the losses.

Mr Chaudhry says the state must make adequate restitution for these losses and those responsible for these acts of lawlessness and savagery must be made answerable for their deeds.

He says until justice is done to the victims, reconciliation and forgiveness will be regarded as useless.