http://www.sun.com.fj/ - 6/11/2008
I can say that here in Fiji we need the military. We now have a coup culture because of the existence of the military. The coups in 1987, 2000 and 2006 were carried out by the military. According to ousted Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes there is no ‘coup culture’ in Fiji.
citizens of Fiji, in the name of some ‘misguided cause?” .
Said: “We have to accept the reality that the military is here to stay.” “How to engage them in the governance of the country is an important challenge.
There was a great confusion about the real role of the military as enshrined under the 1997 Constitution. The confusion has arisen because of the difference in interpretation of section 112 of the constitution between the military and the ousted Laisenia Qarase government. According to ousted Prime Minister Qarase the RFMF had misinterpreted section 112 of the 1997 Constitution. Section 112 of the 1997 Constitution specifically states the RFMF has no role in the running of the government. The argument from the RFMF is that section 112 (1) of the Constitution which states:
“The military forces called the Republic of Fiji Military Forces established by the Constitution of 1990 continues in existence.” Their interpretation is that section 94 (1) establishes the RFMF and it is only proper that Section 94 (3) automatically comes into existence because it defines its role. Section 94 (3) states - “It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to ensure all the time is the security, defence and well-being of Fiji and its people.” Surely there is some merit that section 112 (1) of the 1997 Constitution incorporates section 94 (1) and (3) of the 1990 Constitution. We must be mindful of the fact that section 120(2) of the constitution confers original jurisdiction of the High Court in any matter arising under the constitution or involving its interpretation.
Some conditions could be attached to the immunity, but that will be a matter for negotiation.” It is a fact that granting granting immunity could be considered unfair to those in the past who have suffered the consequences for their action.