Saturday, February 03, 2007

Fiji: more thuggery

Fiji's Methodist church has come out against the coup, issuing a 20-point statement calling it "a treasonous act against the State" and stating that the actions of military dictator Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama were "questionable in any court of law":

"These actions must be viewed as a dangerous precedent to the governance of this country i.e. the use of military power to usurp the mandate of a democratically elected government.

‘The takeover should be deplored as a treasonous act against the State.


On the interim regime, the Church said in principle it agreed to the appointment because it acknowledges that democratic normalcy needs to be restored to the nation with undisturbed speed.

The Church called on the President and the Great Council of Chiefs to "show integrity, compassion and to stand up for the rule of law and Godly principles, including human rights, in this difficult period.

It also called for serious consideration to have the President medically boarded, and if necessary retired with dignity and respect.

"This plea is in the national interest and in the interest of the credibility of the interim regime.

"It is the humble and honest advice of the Church that this matter should be addressed to avoid certain embarrassment," the statement said.

The Methodist Church also called on Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and his interim ministers to resign and appoint a new government that is politically neutral made up of prominent and respected people in society.

Naturally, the military wasn't pleased with this - so they raided the church and arrested someone. In the process they also assaulted a photographer for the Fiji Times for daring to document their actions. The message is clear: speak out against the regime, or even show people what they are doing, and you will be raided, detained or beaten.