Fiji Labour Party remembers with deep sadness the 19 people who lost their lives and the trauma inflicted on members of the People’s Coalition Government held hostage for 56 days at gunpoint, in the 2000 coup.
In a statement released on the 8th anniversary of the 19th May 2000 coup, FLP President Jokapeci Koroi said the political mayhem of 2000 remains the darkest blotch in the modern history of our nation.
“It plunged the nation into months of chaos, unleashed untold violence, terror and destruction and brought suffering to hundreds of innocent rural families, from Muaniweni to Dreketi in the North.
“There can be no mitigation for the perpetrators of such heinous acts against the people of Fiji. They were driven purely by greed, racism and a lust for power,” Mrs Koroi said.
She denounced the recent call by Mick Beddoes for amnesty for George Speight and his collaborators.
“As for Laisenia Qarase, he now vehemently denounces coups because the shoe is on the other foot. Yet, he was very much part of the destabilisation campaign in 2000 and, it is a matter of record, he had foreknowledge of the coup, but did not alert the authorities to the plot.
He, in fact, justified the removal of the People’s Coalition Government with his claim that he agreed with the cause but not the method.
“Mr Qarase’s actions later when he freed those convicted and sentenced to prison for their part in the coup, on trumped up CSOs and questionable medical grounds, showed that he even agreed with the method.
“Not only this, he flouted the rule of law and the Constitution by continuing to pay them salaries while in prison, and was determined to bring in the Amnesty Bill to set them free,” Mrs Koroi said.
She expressed dismay that eight years on, certain key supporters and financiers of the coup had still not been brought to justice.
“The ghost of 2000 will not be laid to rest unless all those responsible for the pain and suffering associated with the coup are held accountable for their misdeeds,” Mrs Koroi said.