1 Jun 2004

Gun holds sway in Fiji, says prisons head

7:38 am on 1 June 2004

Fiji's commissioner of prisons claims the country is being held to ransom by a military which is pointing a gun at the government's head.

Aisea Taoka is also quoted as saying the police need to stand up and be counted.

The Fiji Sun says Mr Taoka's comments come in the wake of recent allegations that the army commander planned to overthrow the government if his contract was not renewed.

Mr Taoka has questioned the military's allegiance and loyalty, and accused it of practising double standards.

He says this is because while Commodore Bainimarama wanted to bring the perpetrators of the coup and mutinies to justice, in the same breath, he was out to get the government.

Mr Taoka has urged the government to put its foot down and not let the military get away with the power of the gun.

He has also called on the police to match their skills with the military, in case they need to take action to counter any instability by the military.