back to news archives for 18-31 August, 2000
USP Journalism Programme

* See Nius items 2916, 2914, 2911

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SUVA: Fiji's Police Commissioner Isikia Savua was today likened by a
newspaper to a Phantom or a Batman in his fight against the country's
crime, then entered rebel George Speight and "the worst crime of the
In an open editorial addressed to Savua, the Daily Post said the police
chief, a former military officer, had brought an inquiry into
allegations of his involvement in Fiji's insurrection upon himself.
Addressed "Dear mister police chief," the editorial said in part:
"Bro, the commission of inquiry tasked to determine your alleged
involvement in George Speight's coup does not depict a very good picture
at all. At least, for your career, that is.
However, we the people of Fiji, must give you the benefit of the doubt.
After all, we follow a judicial system whereby the accused person is
always innocent until proven guilty.
"This, of course, is not news to new to you as the maintenance of the
laws of Fiji and its implementation rests squarely on your shoulders as
Commissioner of Police. These are part of your responsibilities.
"These are the responsibilities that people believed you ignored at the
height of the George Speight rule.
"But really bro, you brought this commission of inquiry [on] yourself
and you cannot blame anyone else.
"In fact, people say you goofed up. Either you got cold feet after
Speight held [deposed prime Minister] Mahendra Chaudhry and his
government hostage, or you were lost basically because you didn't know
what to do.
"The other scenario, of course, was that you knew of the plot but
because it did not go according to plan, you decided to save your skin
and sat on the fence observing the coup from a bird's eye view.
"But bro, that's not your style.
"You are not that indecisive as it's just not you.
"The whole country knows of your professional training as a military
commander and are aware of your capabilities... You fought lawlessness
with the vigour it deserved... You brought a ray of hope to the many
victims of violent crimes ...
"To many of them you were like the Phantom, or perhaps Batman...
"In fact, through your leadership the police force slowly but surely
began to be in control of the crime situation.
"Then the crunch came. Enter Speight. The worst crime of the millennium
was committed but there was no Commissioner Savua. Neither the Phantom
nor Batman were there either."

Title -- 2919 FIJI: Dear mister police chief
Date -- 24 August 2000
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pasifik Nius
Source -- PN, Daily Post, 24/8/00
Copyright -- PN, DP
Status -- Unabridged


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