Fiji Time: 11:37 PM on Saturday 27 August

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Tikoitoga clears the air

Ana Madigibuli
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RFMF Commander Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga says he did not admit that citizens had been beaten and tortured by the military, saying instead that his exact words were that he would not deny the assaults took place.

Brig-Gen Tikoitoga was reacting to a story by Australian newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday that quoted him as having "admitted that citizens had been beaten and tortured by the military regime".

"I wouldn't deny that these things happened," he said to 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."

The USP journalism department had also made a statement questioning Tikoitoga's comments.

But when approached on the issue yesterday, Brig-Gen Tikoitoga said the comments were taken out of context.

"I did not admit to anything, let's get that clear, what I told the journalist at the time was that I would not deny that some people were taken to task," he said.

"I said I would not deny it because there were so many reports done and there were so many investigations carried out on that issue.

"One thing that I question is the timing of the reports in the Herald and The Age and how it has been taken totally out of context and how political parties are trying to make comments including the USP people.

"I stand by my statement to the public of Fiji that the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces is apolitical as we are here to do our job and that is what we will stand by.

He said military involvement or a push from other political parties or commentators to include the military in political discussions would not help the RFMF achieve their apolitical aspirations.

"What I question now is the timing of that paragraph to be put out as we near the elections, it's very mischievous to a point that it has now questioned the integrity of the RFMF in a period where we have quite clearly told the public of Fiji that we want no part in political discussions.

"We do not support any political party and we are ready to accept any government that comes after election and we will respect the Constitution," he said.

"I am sincerely asking political parties and commentators not to take those comments out of contexts.'

He said his full interview to the media organisations were not published.

In their statement questioning the beatings, USP journalism lecturer Dr Mathew Thompson said the new military chief's endorsement of torture to silence critics was disgusting.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.63900.6200
JPY 50.424247.4242
GBP 0.37370.3657
EUR 0.43830.4263
NZD 0.68420.6512
AUD 0.65260.6276
USD 0.49640.4794

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 26th August 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Veremalua gets help from Ryan on overseas contract
  2. Apologies as fans seek Ryan
  3. Beggar braves the heat for festivity
  4. Cost of living
  5. It's gold for all
  6. Fijian family survives quake
  7. Nagusa clears the air
  8. Impact of VAT cutback
  9. Firm takes action over mynah nuisance
  10. Crowd delights chief

Top Stories this Week

  1. Ardent fan escorted out of celebrations Sunday (21 Aug)
  2. God — is he dead? Maybe, but not Osea Kolinisau's Sunday (21 Aug)
  3. Wong helps Rawaca get a gold medal Friday (26 Aug)
  4. 1 charged, 2 under probe for break-in Thursday (25 Aug)
  5. Ryan confirms decision to leave Fiji Sunday (21 Aug)
  6. Taliga eyes Tokyo Tuesday (23 Aug)
  7. 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurs in Fiji Monday (22 Aug)
  8. 7s top job Tuesday (23 Aug)
  9. Veremalua gets help from Ryan on overseas contract Saturday (27 Aug)
  10. Police escort fan away Monday (22 Aug)