24 Feb 2003

More coups in Fiji predicted

8:18 am on 24 February 2003

One of the leaders of the May 2000 coup in Fiji is predicting more coups in the future.

The warning has been issued by Iliesa Duvuloco, who was released last week after serving an 18 month jail sentence on Nukulau Island with Geroge Speight and fellow accomplices.

Mr Duvuloco has told the Sunday Times he is expecting more coups in the future because the fundamental factors that caused them have not been addressed.

He says one of the most important factors is what he calls the cry of indigeneous Fijians for full political control of their country.

Mr Duvuloco says Fijians have been economically disadvantaged for a long time becuse the indigenous leadership which ruled the country for more than 30 years has been too insecure and weak and more worried about the money and prestige that go with office.

He says these leaders were Prime Ministers in name only and without any power.

Mr Duvuloco blames the 1970 and 1997 constiutions for Fiji's problems, saying they did not guarantee political sovereignty for indigenous Fijians.