back to new archives for 15-17 June 2000
Army maintains plan for chiefs
Friday, June 16, 2000

A meeting of the Great Council of Chief will be called only when George
Speight agrees to a three-point resolution set by the military, spokesman
Lieutenant Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini said.

The resolutions include: the immediate release of all hostages; ç granting of
amnesty to Mr Speight and those who were evolved in the civilian coup on
May 19; and, to agree on an interim civilian administration that has the
confidence of the people.

"If Mr Speight agrees to these three issues, then it will be appropriate to
request the convening of the Great Council of Chiefs. "They will then be
briefed on this agreement with a request for their formal blessing," he said.

Lt Col. Tarakinikini said the Great Council of Chiefs should be accorded
the respect it deserves. It is not courteous nor respectful of George Speight
and his group to place demands on the chiefs while pointing a gun at the
heads of people who they hold hostage.

"They are now no longer ministers or members of parliament, they are
fellow human beings, they are fathers and mothers to innocent families who
are suffering," said Lt Col. Tarakinikini.

He said the release of hostages is the precondition to any agreement. Col.
Tarakinikini said it must be understood that the rights of indigenous Fijians
cannot be granted by constitutions alone but an all encompassing
undertaking which must receive the support of all indigenous Fijians, the
sympathy of other races and the understanding of the international
community. "As responsible citizens we must also see to it that we have a
framework of good governance in Fiji that will promote development.

"We must have a civilian administration that will the effective maintenance
of law and order and the safety of all citizens. This means that it must have
the support of the industries, the business community and all civil society
as a whole," he said. Lt Col Tarakinikini said the fulfilment of the Harare
Declaration is the ultimate aim of the military administration.


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last revision June 15, 2000