13 May 2005

Fiji military opposes reconciliation bill

1:51 pm on 13 May 2005

The Fiji military says it will fight the Government's hotly debated Reconciliation and Unity legislation but is refusing to elaborate on its opposition.

The Government plans to table in Parliament soon legislation to speed reconciliation between Indians and Fijians following deep-seated differences seen in the 2000 coup.

It says it's committed to criminal prosecutions continuing, but these aren't enough.

The military says it's now seen copies of the Government Bill, which it's been quoted as dubbing "Reconciliation Bull".

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, says the military will fight the Bill but he won't be drawn on detail.

"It's just that the [Army] Commander [Commodore Bainimarama] thinks that we need to sit down and deliberate a lot more on it and actually make a better submission on what we disagree on. In principle you can say we disagree on it, that's about it."

Military spokesman Captain Neumi Leweni.