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Fiji Time: 11:59 PM on Sunday 21 September

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'Family' unity

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Sunday, July 20, 2014

THE Social Democratic Liberal Party believes there must be reconciliation between the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the people.

Party leader Ro Teimumu Kepa, in addressing party members at their manifesto announcement in Suva on Friday, said members of the military were brothers and sisters, relatives and family.

The Roko Tui Dreketi said it was time to bring the family together.

"There is much to be proud of in your record of helping to keep peace in the world," Ro Teimumu said.

"There must be reconciliation between the army and the people. You are here to serve them through their elected representatives in parliament.

"That is where the national sovereignty lies."

She added that as a nation, it was important to listen to each other and decide together how coups could be stopped, as children deserved a future without a coup culture.

Defence Minister Joketani Cokanasiga yesterday said the relationship between the military and the Fijian people had remained unshaken.

Mr Cokanasiga said this could be seen in the interest of the people whenever there was a military recruitment drive.

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"The military is made up of Fijians and 90 per cent are iTaukei. If the relationship between the people and the military is bad, people wouldn't flock in numbers to join the army," Mrs Cokanasiga said.

"In the last recruitment drive at QEB last year, more than 1000 youths turned up and people are still waiting for call-ups.

"The military will continue to uphold the law regardless of who comes into power."

Mr Cokanasiga said that in order to o stop Fiji's coup culture:

"In stopping the coup culture, my view is you have to go back to who are the backers … go back behind the scene and see who are backing these upheavals."

He added the RFMF was committed to serving the Fijian people.

"The military is made up of Fijians and 90 per cent are iTaukei. If the relationship between the people and the military is bad, people wouldn't flock in numbers to join the army," he said. "In the last recruitment drive at QEB last year, more than 1000 youths turned up and people are still waiting for call-ups.

"The military will continue to uphold the law regardless of who comes into power."

For no more coups, Mr Cokanasiga said: "In stopping the coup culture, my view is you have to go back to who are the backers … go back behind the scenes and see who are backing these upheavals."

He added the RFMF was committed to serving the Fijian people.


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