28 Jul 2005

Fiji military chief implores chiefs to work for stability

3:50 pm on 28 July 2005

Fiji's military commander has called on the country's Great Council of Chiefs to think twice before making a decision on the government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Radio Legend reports that Commodore Frank Bainimarama told the chiefs that if they endorse the Bill, they would be approving the May 2000 coup as being legal.

Commodore Bainimarama said the chiefs should make a wise decision in order to maintain stability in Fiji

He said the military supports the government of the day but NOT the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The Commodore told the Great Council of Chiefs that if they endorse the Bill, it would mean they were legalising the coup and that no crime was committed by its perpetrators.

The Bill will set up a Commission to fast track amnesty for coup convicts like George Speight, erase their criminal records, give immunity to those not yet prosecuted and ask the courts to suspend proceedings against those facing charges.