29 Jan 2005

Fiji military boycotts government church service

9:29 am on 29 January 2005

Fiji's military boycotted a government-organised church service in Suva yesterday held to pray for the future security and safety of the country.

The service was organised by the ministry of home affairs, which is responsible for the military and the police.

It was attended by the prime minister and his cabinet, ministry chief executive officers and public servants, as well as the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes.

But the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, and his troops stayed away.

The Fiji Times quotes Commodore Bainimarama as saying there was no point in going, because a lot of those attending weren't honest in their intentions, and there was no genuine desire for unity in the current government.

The military has had serious differences with the government over the prosecution of soldiers and civilians involved in the coup.

It's also concerned about the premature release of the former vice president Ratu Jope Seniloli, who had been jailed for four years for trying to become the usurper president.