back to news archives for 18-31 August, 2000
USP Journalism Programme
NEW INTELLIGENCE UNIT PLANNED

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* Pacific Media Watch Online: http://www.pmw.c2o.org

By Mithleshni Gurdayal
USP Journalism Graduate on the Daily Post

SUVA: A new intelligence unit will soon be established by Fiji's interim
administration, says the interim Home Affairs Minister Ratu Talemo
Ratakele.
The unit will replace the Fiji Intelligence Service which was abolished
by the deposed elected Mahendra Chaudhry government last year.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Post yesterday, Ratu Talemo
said the interim administration is looking at reactivating the National
Security Council which existed during the rule of the Alliance
government [of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara].
According to him, this is to keep up with security matters of the
country.
"The National Security Council was in force during the Alliance
government but after 1987, when the Fiji Intelligence Service was
established, this council lapsed," he said.
"But with the demise of the FIS, we have to reactivate the council,"
Ratu Talemo said.
"Core functions of the council will be to keep a tab on all matters
concerning security and decide what actions to take as far as the
security of the nation is concerned and be able to tackle problems
before they arise, unlike the May 19 situation."
However, Ratu Talemo pointed out that the May insurrection could have
been avoided if the ousted government had heeded police warnings.
"From the information have received, police and military intelligence
had warned the [Chaudhry] government that things were building up and my
predecessor was pressed to impress on the former prime minister that
things should be tackled at that stage," he said.
"I am satisfied that the police in the Special Branch and the Military
Intelligence had performed their task of warning the government, that if
nothing was done then the problem would escalate to a stage culminating
in something like what happened on May 19."
* Police Commissioner Isikia Savua, who has been implicated in the
attempted coup, was reported by the Fiji Sun to be officially from today
pending an investigation into allegations about his involvement with he
rebels.
A tribunal set up by the Public Service Commission, and headed by Chief
Justice Sir Timoci Tuivaga, will investigate the allegations.
Criticisms against Savua, a former military officer, have included his
alleged failure to deal effectively with the rioting and looting on May
19 and his decision to attend a security conference in Vanuatu, leaving
the police without effective leadership during the height of the crisis.
+++niuswire

Title -- 2927 FIJI: New intelligence unit planned
Date -- 26 August 2000
Byline -- Mithleshni Gurdayal
Origin -- Pasifik Nius
Source -- Fiji's Daily Post, 26/8/00
Copyright -- DP
Status -- Unabridged
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