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FIJI: PM warns against 'plotters' and opposition cries 'hypocrisy'


Bainimarama is encouraging people to report any illegal activity to police. Image: FijiONE

Monday, August 31, 2015

Item: 9404

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
SUVA (The Fiji Times/Pacific Media Watch): Fijians living abroad who have been plotting against the State will be tracked down and brought to justice, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has warned.

"If you encourage sedition, you are committing a serious offence. If you urge violence against anyone in Fiji, you are committing a serious offence," he said at the weekend.

"The hand of the law is very long and rest assured the authorities in Fiji will not rest until you are brought to justice."

Bainimarama also reminded those living next to people trying to divide Fijians not to be fooled.

"It is not only illegal but even if they were permitted, they would have no hope of surviving economically."

He said it would not only make people poor but also "foolish".

"So turn your backs on these messengers of division. Report any illegal activity to the police, and if anyone you know is involved, tell them they risk spending many years in jail.”

Fijians abroad
"This also applies to Fijians who are plotting against the State overseas, including certain high profile figures in Australia."

Bainimarama said those behind the move were those who did not believe in democracy and in listening to the will of the people.

"They want to impose their will on everyone else. They are enemies of the State and enemies of the Fijian people. They are enemies of investment.

"They are enemies of a modern Fiji. They are enemies of prosperity for all Fijians.

"And we are going to track them down and bring them to justice."

But SODELPA (Social Democratic Liberal Party) leaders Ro Teimumu Kepa and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu yesterday hit back at Bainimarama's warning to people he claimed were plotting against the State.

The SODELPA leaders claimed Bainimarama was hypocritical and threatening the democratic rights of Fiji citizens.

'Entrenched immunity'
"We agree totally with Prime Minister Bainimarama, the 'arm of the law is long'", they said.

"And while he is threatening other citizens that his government will bring them to justice, he hides behind his entrenched immunity provision in the Constitution."

The SODELPA leaders accused Bainimarama of fear mongering by asking citizens to report on each other to the police.

Responding to Bainimarama's statement that dissidents wanted to impose their will on everyone else, they said the only imposition done on the Fijian people was Bainimarama's coup in 2006.

Ro Teimumu and Ratu Naiqama replied to Bainimarama's statement that his was a lawful government because it was chosen in elections last year.

"In 2006, the people elected the SDL government (United Fiji Party). As he says, to challenge (his government) it is to defy the will of the Fijian people. Yet this is exactly what he did in 2006."

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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