It was obviously the intention of the Bainimarama government to smuggle the consignment into the country unbeknown to the people.
We should consider ourselves fortunate that Opposition MP Ratu Isoa Tikoca exposed this nefarious plot through his intelligence sources. According to a statement issued by him yesterday, the consignment includes a helicopter and armoured vehicles among other dangerous weapons.
Once exposed, government was quick to explain it away as a gift from Russia to be used for our peace keepers abroad. But why did we seek such a gift in the first place?
Our peace keeping force is equipped by the United Nations and the weapons they use are deployed away from our shores. Why do we need to bring in a shipload of such arms into Fiji? What precisely is the agenda here?
The highly clandestine nature of the arms shipment has grave implications for our national security and the safety of our people.
The RFMF is now viewed by many as a very politicised institution, serving first and foremost the interests of the high command of the FF government. We have had two Bainimarama appointed commanders in less than two years, since he left. The first, Tikoitoga who replaced him was forced out barely 12 months later to be replaced by Naupoto whose appointment itself has created much controversy.
This is the first time in our history that such a huge shipment of arms, has been brought into Fiji from a communist country.
FLP demands a full disclosure on the contents of the 20 containers of arms and a truthful answer as to why they are needed.
The Russian link to this whole episode of arms shipping is alarming in itself.