9 Mar 2007

Fiji academic says human rights abuses could spark another mutiny

2:58 pm on 9 March 2007

A leading Fiji academic says he fears there could be a mutiny in the military if the government continues to abuse human rights in the country.

Professor Vijay Naidu, the director of development studies at the University of the South Pacific, says a referendum could be a way forward for Fiji.

Professor Naidu believes opposition to the interim administration could rise and a referendum might help resolve the impasse between the interim administration and the deposed government.

He says the stalemate partly stems from the fact the constitution can't be amended outside of the parliamentary process.

And he says he has concerns about what could happen within the military's ranks.

"One of the worries I have would be some factions within the military emerging and contributing to some kind of armed rebellion or mutiny and that would be a disaster for us."

He says if fighting occurs within the military, the civilian population would suffer.

But he says it appears that the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has almost total loyalty from his current senior officers.