24 Jul 2007

Criminals will take advantage of strike - Bainimarama

7:53 am on 24 July 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister has warned that the military and the police will deal harshly with criminals who take advantage of the planned strike by public servants.

The Fiji Sun quotes Commodore Frank Bainimarama as saying there are certain criminal elements who would use a strike to carry out their objectives.

Commodore Bainimarama has called on the general secretary of the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers, Taniela Tabu, to tell the truth and stop using the situation to the advantage of those criminal elements.

Referring to Mr Tabu's fears on TV when he saw footage of riot police and soldiers training for crowd control, Commodore Bainimarama is asking why Mr Tabu was afraid.

He says Mr Tabu should not fear anything unless there is a hidden agenda behind their move to go on strike.

Commodore Bainimarama says what was seen on TV last Friday of riot police crowd control tactics and soldiers firing bullets was meant to take care of criminal elements who would take advantage of the situation to bring instability to the country.

He says it was not meant for striking workers and was not intimidating tactics as claimed by some unions.