INDEPENDENT NEWS

Elected PM's Wife Waits In Vain

Published: Mon 26 Jun 2000 11:02 AM
USP Journalism online (new UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/ USP Journalism ("mirror" of gagged site): http://www.sidsnet.org/pacific/usp/journ/ Wansolwara Online: http://www.lookinglassdesign.com/wansolwara/wansol.html Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook
SUVA: Virmati Chaudhry, wife of Fiji's democratically elected prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry, waited yesterday in vain for her husband to be set free.
And she also waited the day before in disappointment.
Her hopes of reuniting with her captive husband and son, Rajendra, were dashed yet again by the deadlocked talks between the military regime and rebel leader George Speight's group.
"To be told again that the talks haven't reached anywhere, it is quite upsetting," she said on Fiji Television's Close-Up current affairs programme last night.
The programme was devoted to the release of four women hostages during the early hours of the morning after 37 days of captivity in Parliament.
"What wrong did Mahend do to be punished like this?" said Mrs Chaudhry, who is a Christian.
"He was determined to do his best for the country."
She said she and others had prayed at last year's May general election for God to choose the best leader for Fiji.
"From a Christian point of view, they [the rebels] are actually fighting Him."
In an interview with the Sunday Post, Mrs Chaudhry echoed these views, saying she did not have hard feelings towards the rebels.
"I have forgiven them. My Bible tells me me to do so and I have done it. But I want to ask why are these 31 people [captives] being punished? What wrong have they done?" she asked.
"What wrong has Mahend done - he was elected by the people and given a mandate to carry out his duties as prime minister?
"And I must remind everyone, who has forgotten, that before the elections last year, many were praying for God to give Fiji a good government.
"And I can say that God had a hand in Mahend's and the People's Coalition victory. Now it seems the fight is not with the People's Coalition, but with the Lord.
"He was the choice of God."
According to the Fiji Times today, the military has not ruled out the option of storming Parliament now that the last women hostages have been released.
Negotiations were broken off by the military yesterday because of new demands by Speight. But military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini said the door was still open for further talks.
The controversial issue in the talks is the appointment of the president.
Speight wants a president appointed first - the military want the decision left to the Great Council of Chiefs.
Lt-Col Tarakinikini described the release of the four women - former Minister for Tourism Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau, Lavenia Padarath (Minister for Women), Marieta Rigamoto (Assistant Minister for Agriculture) and backbencher Akanisi Koroitamana - as a positive step.
He added that there were now "less restrictions" in dealing with the hostage situation.
+++niuswire
This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius: niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.html

Next in Comment

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70
By: UNHCHR
Gordon Campbell on Judgment Day for Theresa May
By: Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on why we politely fake political obituaries
By: Gordon Campbell
NZ biodiversity losses match global crisis
By: Robert McLachlan and Steven Alexander Trewick
Your Organisation Can Now Sponsor a Section on Scoop.co.nz!
By: Scoop Publishing
Scoop's PledgeMe Campaign Finishes Today - With $1644 Needed
By: Alastair Thompson
Charters and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
By: Binoy Kampmark
Amnesty publishes review of human rights in 2018
By: Amnesty International
Judgment: UK free to revoke article 50 notification
By: Court of Justice of the European Union
Kelvin Davis to represent New Zealand at Bush Funeral
By: New Zealand Government
PM's condolences on the passing of George H.W. Bush
By: New Zealand Government
George H.W. Bush: Cold War Ends and New World Orders
By: Binoy Kampmark
United States War Crimes During the First Persian Gulf War
By: Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Scoop Section Sponsorships: An Opportunity to Collaborate
By: Joseph Cederwall
Open Letter Part 2: Who Are Scoop's Biggest Freeriders?
By: Alastair Thompson
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media