#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 9th anniversary of 2000 coup - what they said last year

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

9th anniversary of 2000 coup - what they said last year

The ninth anniversary of the 2000 coup, went by mostly unnoticed today. Unlike last year, where statements were made, all was quite this year, because of the PER in Fiji.

These statements were made last year, to mark the eighth anniversary of the George Speight coup.

“We are not scared of this because we cannot surrender our values. We cannot surrender democracy to terrorist elements, to thugs. Now we go to the people in general elections with a very clear platform. And we were elected as we were in 1987 and 2000 and therefore we are entitled to a term of 5 years in government. It is for the people of this country to elect or to remove governments through the ballot box, not through the bullet."
Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Pal Chaudhry – 22nd May 2005 (Fiji Television Close-Up marking 5th anniversary of 19th May 2000 coup)

- “Coups do not pay. Anyone who’s thinking of doing it should seriously think about the consequences. Also, they have a massive drain on the economy and also there is a flight of intellectual property, very well qualified people also leave and the country suffers. No one really wants coups.”
Rajendra Pal Chaudhry – 19th May 2008 (Fiji TV One National News marking the 8th anniversary of 19th May 2000 coup)

“I explained to the Council (Great Council of Chiefs) that we are expected to be seen to be upholding the rule of law, that no one, least of all chiefs, should be seen to be above the law. The law is meant for everyone and everyone is equal under the law. With that in mind the Council (GCC) made its own decision, that no, the rule of law must take its course despite the fact that we have some chiefs and others who are in positions of influence implicated."
Ratu Epeli Ganilau (Interview in Islands Business Magazine of April 2004 in his capacity as the then GCC Chairman supporting police probe into the May 2000 coup)


Anonymous said...

Epeli Ganulau.

Thank God his father is not around to witness
the deeds of his son...

Anonymous said...

Here is a timeline of what happened that day.

Friday, 19 May 2000
Time Events
10.30am 10.30-11am

-Close to 5000 supporters of the Taukei Movement and Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party marched to Parliament House to protest the policies of the People’s Coalition government, led by Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

-A red four-wheel-drive zigzagged through the city followed by another minibus loaded with gunmen, which was chased by police.

-A group of seven gunmen, led by businessman George Speight, entered Parliament. Two men had balaclavas on, while the rest were in jeans and wearing caps, some brandishing pistols, others M-16 guns. Members of the takeover gang were later identified as soldiers of the elite First Meridian Squadron (the military’s Counter-Revolutionary Warfare Unit, established after the 1987 coups).

-Two gunshots were fired inside Parliament to warn the Speaker, Dr. Kurasaqila and Opposition members to leave

-Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and his Ministers were handcuffed and made to kneel.
bullet Fijian members of government were taken into the Parliament Chambers, under guard. Indo-Fijian members were taken to the Government Members Office with the windows and doors locked without allowing light into the room. Chaudhry and the other hostages were heavily guarded by men toting Uzi and M16 rifles. Among the hostages is Adi Koila Nailatikau, daughter of the President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara 1.30pm

-George Speight held a press conference where he named his interim Prime Minister, Ratu Timoci Silatolu and Minister for Home Affairs Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure

-Former Prime Minister Mr. Sitiveni Rabuka arrived in Parliament as mediator between the President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and the terrorists

-After hearing of the takeover of Parliament, looters broke into shops and supermarkets in central Suva taking groceries, jewellery, clothes, shoes and electronic goods. Police reported 16 shops were burnt within the vicinity of Suva and over 160 looted, with damage estimated at between F$30-60 million.

Saturday 20 May 2000

-George Speight organised a meeting before international and local journalists, and claimed authority over the country. He proceeded to name members of a new government(This supposed government has not been recognised by international authorities). Coup leader Speight swore in Ratu Jope Seniloli as President of the self-proclaimed "Taukei Civilian Government". Mr. Speight was sworn in as Interim Prime Minister then others were sworn in before Ratu Jope Seniloli as members of his Cabinet. The names put forward for the new regime were:

1. Deputy Prime Minister Timoci Silatolu
2. Attorney General and Minister of Justice Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure
3. Minister for Housing and Urban Development Viliame Volavola
4. Minister for Youths and Sports Peceli Rinakama
5. Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Isireli Leweniqila
6. Minister for Land and Mineral Resources Iliesa Duvuloco
7. Minister for Works and Energy Viliame Savu
8. Minister for Information Simione Kaitani
9. Asst. Minister for Lands Mitieli Bulanauca
10. Asst. Minister for Education Manasa Moce
11. Asst. Minister for Urban Development Eroni Lewaqai
12. Asst. Minister for Environment Antonio Tanaburenisau
13. Asst. Minister for Forest Lepani Tonitonivanua

-Deputy Prime Minister of the People’s Coalition Government Dr. Tupeni Baba was brought before the media. He appealed to the army not to intervene after rebel leader Speight received a letter from the RMF.

-A curfew was enforced from 6pm- 6am and President Ratu Mara declares a State of Emergency.

Anonymous said...

My recollection is that the original march on May 19th also involved a protest by Nurses?