NEWS

Amnesty For Speight? Ro Teimumu Not Saying

Ro Teimumu Kepa was non-committal yesterday on whether SODELPA’s proposed truth and reconciliation commission would revisit the idea of amnesty for 2000 coup leader George Speight. The Social Democratic Liberal
02 Sep 2014 19:38

Ro Teimumu Kepa was non-committal yesterday on whether SODELPA’s proposed truth and reconciliation commission would revisit the idea of amnesty for 2000 coup leader George Speight.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader said “don’t politicise” the issue.

She was reacting to questions on the similarities of the party’s current position as stated in their manifesto and that of the former Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL). The SDL’s proposed Reconciliation and Unity Commission had intended to investigate the causes of the 2000 coup with possible amnesty for its perpetrators, particularly George Speight.

The SDL proposal first introduced into Parliament in 2005 provoked a chorus of opposition from the media, civil society and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

Ro Teimumu said: “We really need to go back to 1987 and look at the causes of the coup.
“Coups don’t benefit anyone. “They don’t benefit any one race or group. We’ve come a long way and the only way to look at the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission is to see it as a means to restore and heal our land.”

She said the idea of a commission needed to be backed by all stakeholders, particularly political parties, if it was to work.

“I can’t really say much on the form and shape of the commission. This is something that should be decided by all parties as part of the parliamentary process,’’ she said.

Notably, 1987 coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka is now campaigning actively for the SODELPA party in Vanua Levu along with Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

Mr Rabuka has recanted his support of racist iTaukei ideology epitomised by the iTaukei Movement and publicly apologised for his actions.

The iTaukei Movement called for the repatriation of Indo-Fijians and helped manipulate and stoke public emotions leading to the violent overthrow of the Dr Timoci Bavadra-led government in 1987.

SODELPA has recently also tried to distance itself from former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase whose recent gaffe linking numbers on the ballot paper and the Koran threatened non-iTaukei support for the party.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 



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