23 Dec 2005

Fiji government asks military commander to accept the Reconciliation Bill

11:15 am on 23 December 2005

The Fiji government has pleaded with the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, not to use force to stop the controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The Fiji Sun reports that the chief executive of the Prime Minister's Office, Jioji Kotobalavu, said the commander should not instill fear in the people with his threats to stop the Bill at all costs.

Mr Kotobalavu said he was appealing to Commodore Bainimarama as a fellow public servant that the Bill was a political decision by an elected government.

He said citizens throughout Fiji had been widely consulted and the government had already said it would review the Bill.

But the Fijian Political Party, the SVT, has supported the military commander's stand on the Bill, saying the government has a hidden agenda.

The SVT's general secretary, Ema Druavesi, says "the deliberate and dishonest motives of the SDL government is nothing short of political propaganda to kick start the campaign on the release of all those implicated in the 2000 coup."

Mrs Druavesi says if the government does not bother about the concerns of the military and the public, they should be prepared to take the consequences of their actions.