4 May 2005

Fiji government tries to stop Chaudhry direct contact with Hughes and Bainimarama

9:43 am on 4 May 2005

The Fiji government has attempted to stop all direct contact between the opposition leader and the chiefs of the two security forces.

Radio Fiji reports the minister for home affairs, Josefa Vosanibola, has written to Mahendra Chaudhry telling him that all his communications with the police commissioner and the military commander should go through him as the minister responsible.

The letter followed a meeting Mr Chaudhry held with Andrew Hughes and Commodore Bainimarama in his parliamentary office two weeks ago to obtain a security briefing and seek answers on the pace of coup investigations.

Mr Chaudhry says the minister must be naieve to think that he will comply with the advice.

Mr Chaudhry has told Mr Vosanibola in a letter that in his role as opposition leader, he has personal access both to the police commissioner and the military commander on legitimate official business.

After the April 21st meeting, Mr Chaudhry said meetings with the military commander and the police commissioner were necessary because the government did not brief him on security issues.

Commodore Bainimarama was quoted as saying there would be more meetings with the opposition leader on threats and the security situation.