6 Jan 2006

Fiji military commander challenges government to sack him

10:15 am on 6 January 2006

Fiji's military commander has challenged the Qarase government to sack him if it can.

The Daily Post reports that Commodore Frank Bainimarama has issued the challenge in response to a call by the home affairs minister Josefa Vosanibola, to respect him and the elected government.

Mr Vosanibola also admitted that he had no powers to discipline the commander, which is something only the president could do.

Commodore Bainimarama says Mr Vosanibola should be "very scared" of the military, especially as the military does not recognise him as its minister.

Commodore Bainimarama says the military would not be intimidated by the government, nor would it be blackmailed by their attempt to use rural folk to stir up emotions in the community.

He says this did not work in 2000 and will not work this time.

Commodore Bainimarama says the military is not scared of a corrupt government half of whose members he says are ex-convicts.

He says their policies are racist and they have no intention to clear up the events of 2000 but the military will ensure that the perpetrators of the coup are brought to justice.