22 Dec 2006

Speight's brother warns of backlash against Fiji military

2:12 pm on 22 December 2006

The brother of 2000 coup frontman George Speight warns there'll be a public backlash in Fiji if the military continues to ignore the country's chiefs.

MP Samisoni Tikonisau - a member of the pro-coup Conservative Alliance before it merged with the SDL party - says the military is trampling on a sacred entity.

Mr Tikonisau made the comment after the military's statement last night that it no longer recognised the Great Council of Chiefs.

The Fiji Sun reports that this followed the GCC's announcement that it still regards Laisenia Qarase as the lawful Prime Minister, even though he was deposed in the December 5th coup.

Mr Tikonisau says the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, can't brush aside a traditional structure like the GCC.

"You can only suppress people for so long, especially if they know that what is happening is wrong. We've never before experienced a situation where the chiefs have been ignored to the effect that they're just a non entity."

Mr Tikonisau says George Speight, who's being held in maximum security at Naboro Prison west of Suva, believes Commodore Bainimarama had unfinished business after the last coup.