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Investigation diatribe

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

IF there was an investigation into the events of 2000, the name of SODELPA's MP Niko Nawaikula would be brought to the floor for allegedly taking money to George Speight's camp during the coup.

This was said in Parliament by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama after a supplementary question from Mr Nawaikula on what measures the Government had to stop future coups.

"If there was for example an investigation into the events of 2000, someone like him (Mr Nawaikula) would be brought to the floor for taking money into George Speight's camp," Mr Bainimarama claimed.

Responding to the PM's allegations in an interview outside Parliament, Mr Nawaikula said he welcomed any investigation on him.

"I didn't take any money to George Speight. I was never part of that, I did not know what happened — absolutely nothing," he said when quizzed by this newspaper on the PM's claims.

Mr Nawaikula said Mr Bainimarama should present himself for an investigation first.

The PM also rejected and rubbished the call by Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission to reconcile and unite the people of Fiji.

Mr Bainimarama said the short answer to Mr Gavoka's call was a "big no".

"There is no need for a truth and reconciliation commission because today the Fijian people already stand more united than at any other point," the PM said.

He said this was owed to the unprecedented slate of civil, political and socioeconomic rights enshrined for all in the 2013 Constitution. Mr Bainimarama said the only true path to unity was through equality.

"That belief and commitment has given everything Fiji has achieved under my leadership.

"In the very preamble to the 2013 Fijian Constitution, it states clearly that we are all Fijians united by common and equal citizenry, because of our Constitution, for the first time in our history, we are all equal in the eyes of the law and united in our common purpose.

"Because of our Constitution, every Fijian knows their vote and their voice matter the same.

"That all of us citizens have an equal say regardless of the ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, their gender, their physical ability or where they live in Fiji and that is the truth the Fijian people deserve."

He said the Constitution recognised the rights of indigenous Fijians and the Rotuman people.

"It (Constitution) guarantees the ownership and the protection of their land and their unique culture, customs, traditions and language.

"Under that same Constitution, every Fijian has equal access to justice, through courts and tribunals.

"For the first time in Fijian history, we can say with confidence that unity is our greatest strength."

Mr Bainimarama said every Fijian was part of a level playing field with better opportunities.

"On the subject of truth, I see great irony that opposition is posing this question when they are so blind to the history of our country. They ask about truth and reconciliation while they themselves leave in denial of the truth."

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