Saturday, January 19, 2008

Army chief holds key to ending coup culture

Friday, January 18, 2008

FORMER Land Forces Commander Colonel Meli Saubulinayau says no piece of paper can take the coup culture away from the military only those people who hold the position of military commander.

He was reacting to Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's suggestion that a working group be established to specifically address the role of the military as a key institution in the country.

He said he was aware of the concerns regarding what is described as a "coup culture" in Fiji.

"I do not believe a piece of paper can alter the coup culture as that will depend on each person who holds that position," he said.

"It is up to the person who becomes commander whether they want to stay within the parameters of the law or whether they want to break the laws of the land.

"The Constitution already has a definition of democracy so it is illegal to take over a democratically elected government - that is the law.

"We do not need another piece of paper as we already have one that talks about the law and what is legal.

"If you want to stop the coup culture then you need people who have a spirit that wants to stay within the boundaries of the law.

"If they have the will to takeover Government and importantly if they have the guns then the coup culture will stay."

"Any coup leader has broken the law of the land and no wrong can correct another wrong regardless of the reasons behind the coup."

Col Saubulinayau resigned from the military in 2007 after he featured in a move by the then Government in 2006 to replace then Commander Voreqe Bainimarama.

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