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June 23, 2014


How convenient. Just as political parties get publicity over the naming of their candidates and their policies, the head of the RFMF is trotted out to remind everyone the army is ready to beat and torture citizens if they challenge the regime.

RFMF commander, Mosese Tikoitgoa, has told the Sydney Morning Herald the army will respect the result of the September 17 election but will not tolerate an elected government rewriting the regime’s 2013 Constitution.

No justice: Victim Sakiusa Rabaka.

Clearly a threat to the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), which has promised a judicial review of the regime’s Constitution, Tikoitoga admits the army has beaten and tortured citizens and will step in to keep ‘civil disorder’ after September if it has to.

SODELPA says there is no basis for Tikoitoga’s threats, with  youth president, Pita Waqavonovono, citing wide support for the review.

“In the communities I’ve visited, people are asking for the 2013 Constitution to be changed. They were not part of the process and within the document are mechanisms that entrench the rule of the gun or the coup culture.” 

Tikoitoga’s admission this week citizens have been beaten and tortured follows the airing on Australian television last week the story of Fiji human rights activist, Virisila Buadromo, being taken to the barracks in 2006, just after Bainimarama seized control in December. (see earlier C4.5 story).

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “But a lot of these people were actually trying to instigate violence by creating anti-government movements or militant groups.

“They were talking on the radio and so on … If you let them continue to have a voice, you create a potentially dangerous environment. So it was the lesser of two devils.”

Wawavonovono was one of the four attacked that Christmas Eve with Virisila Buadromo and he says people owe it to themselves – and to those who’ve died at the hands of the regime -to keep speaking up, despite the threats.

“Sakiusa Rabaka’s voice and the voice of many young people who were beaten and tortured at various military installations will not be silenced. 

“At this important period of our re-democratisation process, Tikoitonga’s reminder to Bainimarama’s opposition of the torture and abuses is a deliberate attempt to strike fear in the hearts of Fiji citizens.”

Waqavonovono says the United Nations and foreign embassies also need to investigate Tikoitoga’s claims.

“Since 2000, we the people, have asked for the explanations of the murder’s of CRW Soldiers, especially those that had no part to play in the 2000 mutiny. 

“Former Fiji Police Commissioner Peter Hughes had opened a investigation on fraud and murder on Frank Bainimarama and his close allies. 

“A arrest warrant was issued for Bainimarama. This was the reason for the Coup in 2006, hidden under the guise of ending corruption and so-called racist policies.”

UFDF spokesperson and SODELPA nominee, Mick Beddoes, says it’s time people stopped being intimidated.

“The only instability in Fiji back in 2006 was the military and any act of militancy was by the military itself. Their target was of course innocent civilians courageous enough to demonstrate for democracy.”

Dictators: Bainimarama and Yudhoyono

SODELPA party leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, has meanwhile expressed solidarity with the people of West Papua, following the visit of Indonesia’s president,  Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to Suva. Kepa denounced the expensive pageant that was put on for the president saying her party would formalise its support for West Papua to break free from Indonesia’s colonial rule in its upcoming manifesto.

Source – c4.5; Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
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