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“Kadavu Statement by Brigadier General Tikoitoga” Letter to Editor, Fiji TImes and Fiji Sun, 9 April 2014.

09/04/2014

Letter to Editor (The Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Mr Ashwin Raj)
9 April 2014

Kadavu Statement by Brigadier General Tikoitoga

Dear Sir,

The Fiji public may have been initially reassured to read (Fiji Sun 6 April 2014) that Brigadier General Tikoitoga at his Kadavu celebrations, stated that “when elections come, we would support the democratically-elected government that comes into power”.

But Fiji Sun also reported that Brigadier General further reminded the Kadavu people that “he would be making hard decisions that might not go down well with the people but this had to be accepted”.

Fiji has become used to military commanders, such as Rabuka and Bainimarama, totally interfering in national politics.  If we are to eliminate the culture of military coups in Fiji, one of the essential first steps has to be that the military commanders and senior army officers have to become not just “invisible” in national political life, but totally desist from making public statements of the kind that has been reported to be issued by Brigadier General Tikoitoga.

In Australia, NZ and other countries where the military are totally under the command of the civilian government, the military commanders are never heard publicly commenting on national politics.

All political parties, including that of Rear Admiral Bainimarama, need to strongly advise Brigadier General Tikoitoga,  that military officers, including himself, must no longer intervene in national politics and that there can been no need for him to “make any hard decisions that might not go down with the people”.

Such statements by the FMF Commander totally undermine the claim by Bainimarama that his “coup would end all coups”.

Professor Wadan Narsey

Suva

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