19 Oct 2006

Fiji government says military threats are laughable

7:27 pm on 19 October 2006

The Fiji government says alleged threats by military commander to overthrow the government are laughable.

Fiji's foreign minister, Kaliopate Tavola, made the comment after reports that Commodore Frank Bainimarama would oust the government if it went ahead with two controversial bills.

One - the Qoliqoli bill - would transfer legal ownership of all foreshore areas to their traditional indigenous owners, who would be entitled to compensation from all who use them.

And the Reconciliation and Unity Bill could see coup convicts set free from jail under amnesty provisions being proposed.

Mr Tavola says both the police and the military have assured the government everything's okay.

"There's nothing to worry about, there's no reason to be alarmed, and that's on the basis of intelligence received. We've had this situation before, and its becoming laughable, so we just go ahead with life."

Mr Tavola says foreign delegates arriving for the Pacific leaders summit in Nadi have no need to be concerned about their safety.