Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fiji ousted premier's party reported holding "secret meeting"

Fiji Village News - 20 January 2010

The military has today stated that it will not tolerate any secret political meetings due to the Public Emergency Regulation (PER). RFMF's [Republic of Fiji Military Forces] Land Force commander Colonel [rank as published] Pita Driti said any gatherings in relation to political activities need a permit.

Col Driti raised this issue after the military found out that a gathering took place at the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) office at MacGregor Road in Suva late last week. He said it cannot be a coincidence, with some Methodist Church ministers also having meetings last week.

"The reason that we had to act on this was, first of all, it was an illegal meeting without a permit, and Qarase coming over to Suva was coincidentally, as some might have perceived, happening when the Methodist Church was queried upon. This was regarding paying spies. The timing of these particular events made us react and we also have to try our very best to warn everyone not to try and create anything to cause instability in this country. They are the ones who are going to suffer regret in terms of what the military's reaction will be," said Driti.

Following revelations that some Methodist Church ministers were allegedly giving information about the military to the former Qarase government, Col Driti said they now have systems in place to ensure that none of the dissidents find out about the military's plans.

"It is part of our mission, it is part of the Charter also, that we will see that none of these incidents reoccur. I don't think this will be repeated as we have laid down systems and checks and balances that will put a good duty watch on activities."

Assistant police spokesperson Sgt Suliano Tevita said they have no information on the gathering that took place at the SDL office in Suva last week.

Fiji Village News has ascertained that the gathering took place following the return of former prime minister Laisenia Qarase from [his home island] Vanuabalavu.

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