27 Mar 2009

Fiji police defend home-bombing investigation amid public criticism

5:57 pm on 27 March 2009

The police in Fiji are defending the way they're investigating recent attacks on high profile figures, including the editor-in-chief of the Fiji Times.

Earlier this month, homemade bombs were hurled at the homes of Netani Rika and a security recruitment agent, Sakiusa Raivoce.

The attacks follow earlier incidents where vehicles belonging to the trade unionist and pro-democracy campaigner, Attar Singh and the pro-democracy politician, Kenneth Zinck, were stoned.

It's been suggested that the police are not working hard enough to find the people responsible for the crimes but a police spokesperson, Atunasai Sokomuri, says they're doing their best.

"It'll take time as all these incidents are happening late at night and in the early hours of the morning. So we are just pleading with members of the public just to bear with us because Fiji pollice is trying to do its best in investigating all these cases"

However Sharon Bhagwan Rolls of women's awareness group FemLink Pacific says the attacks are a clear manifestation of the kind of violence that's been underneath events in Fiji since the 2006 coup.

She says the police need to do more than "look for footprints in the sand".

This is the time when the people of our country need to be feeling safe to be able to say, this is what I feel is the way forward, this is what I would like to see happen. But with this kind of environment, people aren't going to be comfortable to speak

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls of Femlink Pacific.