Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Former MP responds to claims he was George Speight's Right Hand Man

Posted on Coup Four Point Five - 14 June 2011

By Simione Kaitani

I wish to respond to Graham Davis's article (Unholy Alliance on Fiji, Fiji Sun, 13/6/06).  His attempt to re-crucify me afresh for my alleged involvement in the 2000 coup not only cast doubts, but very much confirms my suspicions regarding his vested interest and personal agenda, unbecoming of his journalistic profession.

Mr Davis's sweeping statements and diatribes, peppered with hasty generalisations, are a public admission of his continued personal support for the illegal regime of Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Frank Bainimarama. Davis is flogging a dead horse.

It is very obvious that Mr Davis is desperately seeking to find some scapegoats as a means to sustaining and distracting attention away from the Regime's current illegal activities. You've got it all wrong. Mr Davis. All very wrong!

The supposed 'smoking gun' picture of Kaitani with Speight
Let me remind him that I was an Independent Member of Parliament and also a victim of George Speight's coup of 2000. Despite all the allegations levelled against me, I wish to categorically state that I was never party to any of the meetings or planned takeover of our Parliament of Fiji prior to the Speight coup. I had just embarked on my political career.

Why should I, therefore, have been interested in deposing our Parliament when that would have meant the termination of my own political life and aspirations?

Mr Davis's allegations and subtle choice of words, that I was Mr Speight's Right Hand Man, is grossly erroneous. He has jumped to A wrong conclusion by making a false connection. The truth is I never was Speight's "Right Hand Man", for I only met and came to know of Speight in that mayhem on the morning of 19th May, 2000.

For Mr Davis's information, it was out of our own concerns for the negative impressions being generated by the extreme nationalist elements in Parliament, that some of us - Members of the Opposition in the deposed Parliament - got together to embark on a damage control exercise.

With great hesitation and after continual pressure from others, I was compelled to take over as spokesperson for the coup from the nationalist leader Mr Duvuloco. That was done without George Speight's knowledge but very much at Mr Duvuloco's anger.

He publicly and repeatedly swore at me in front of the crowd when I took over the microphone from him upon instruction from my colleagues. We later approached Speight and explained our action, which he accepted.

I was spokesperson for only one day and for the purpose of calming the crowd. I recall being personally threatened with a pistol by one of the nationalist militants when I took over the microphone from Mr Duvuloco.

It was during my one-day role as spokesperson that I opened up the Parliamentary complex to the International Media who had been denied entry during the first day. I did this, recognising the need to keep the world informed of the mayhem inside the complex itself and the need to have dialogue with George Speight and his team.

Mr Davis's unsubstantiated statement that I fled to Australia is a fabrication and total misinformation. I never fled from Fiji. His unsubstantiated statement casts doubt of his professionalism and integrity. It is obvious that his blind support for Messers Khaiyum and Bainimarama has resulted in a highly distorted and fabricated diatribe against me in the Fiji Sun.

The truth is that on the very morning of the coup in 2006,  I had left Fiji on an official Parliamentary assignment as Leader of the House, representing our Fiji Parliament in a two day Conference organised by the Democratic Parliamentary Union [DPU] held in Taiwan on the 8th  –10th of December, 2006.

I only learnt of the military takeover of our Parliament upon arrival at Sydney Airport. It was for an official Parliamentary engagement that I had left Fiji and I never "fled".

Moreover, his comments regarding my support for the Truth and Reconciliation Bill as a means of preventing members of our Government from imprisonment, is another misinformation.

It is public knowledge that I was the last of the Ministers in Qarase's Government to be charged but subsequently cleared by the Fijian court on August 15th, 2005.

It is also public knowledge that had the proposed Reconciliation Bill been passed by Parliament, the only person who would have directly benefited from the Bill would have been Bainimarama himself, for reasons which I would do not wish to make public at this stage

It seems, however, the birds have finally come home to roost. Recent public revelations point to Bainimarama's personal/official involvement not only in the execution of the 2000 coup but also the military involvement in its planning.

For those, like myself, who had been made scapegoats and considered the fall guys for these sad events, we are waiting anxiously for these truths to surface. I am thankful to God for allowing someone like Roko Ului Mara to be exposing these truths for the world to see!

I consider Mr Davis's decision to berate and question the sovereign rights of the Government of Australia in granting of the Permanent Residency Status for me, and my family, malicious and mischievous. Australia is honouring its obligation to protect me under international convention for my political beliefs. We are ever thankful to the Government of Australia for their help to us as a family in these very hard times we are going through.

Mr Davis has also questioned my role and agenda in the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement. Well, I consider myself better off than Mr Davis to that effect. Being a victim of two political coups, why shouldn't I rise publicly and fight against the tyranny and spirit of coups that is ruining my country, my people, and has isolated myself from my constituency and families in Fiji?

Mr Davis should know better that "All that are necessary for the triumph of evil is for good man to do nothing". I have publicly forgiven Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara in Canberra last Saturday. I have expressed my forgiveness for all that he did in 2006 against myself, and his action in deposing our Parliament and our elected SDL Government.

I publicly pardoned Roko Ului of our own public responsibilities and have called for our joint efforts in pursuing nothing but the truth. I have also reminded him of the Mordeccais counsel comment to Queen Esther: "Who knows, that you have become our Queen as such a time as these?".

Finally, we are all at a loss, that whilst we are focussing on the current status of political offences and atrocities committed against the State and people of Fiji, we have journalists like Mr Davis hell bent on  flogging a dead horse in a failed attempt at defending the indefensible.

May God bless Fiji!

Read the original story by Graham Davis "Renegade Fiji Officer farce questions of credibility of anti-regime moves" at:  http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2011/06/renegade-fiji-officer-farce-questions-credibility-over-anti-regime-moves/


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