12 Jan 2005

Fiji military concerned about possibility of future political upheaval

12:06 pm on 12 January 2005

Fiji's military has warned that the release of political prisoners who have not been reformed or rehabilitated could unleash anger among indigenous Fijians waiting to be aroused.

The Fiji Sun quotes the military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, as saying that anger among supporters of the coup in areas where the prisoners come from has not subsided but only gone underground.

Captain Leweni says this is why the military is against the release of the former vice president, Seniloli.

He warns that the boastful behaviour and mannerisms of the pro-coup Fijians will once again ignite political fires within their own community.

But, Captain Leweni says, this time any upheaval will develop to an unprecedented level surpassing what happened in May 2000.

He says to quell it at that level is likely to condemn Fiji to everlasting instability of the sort found in countries like Colombia which cannot find their way back to normal governance.

Captain Leweni says the last four years have been a testing time for Fiji's criminal justice system in the face of political interference and obstruction by an authority littered with elements who supported the May 2000 coup.