INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rabuka Stands By Book Claim

Published: Thu 16 Mar 2000 10:00 AM
SUVA (Pacnews) --- Former Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka says he stands by claims made in a book launched in Australia today that the President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara was part of the plot for overthrow the coalition government, led by Doctor Timoci Bavadra in 1987, Pacnews reports.
The book, Rabuka of Fiji, was written by Central Queensland University lecturer, Professor John Sharpham.
Rabuka, in an interview with Radio Fiji, said he made the revelations with a "clear conscience."
He said Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara was given an opportunity to say his piece but didn't take advantage of it.
"There was a great opportunity for his Excellency the President to contribute to the biography during the time of its writing by the author because the story would be controversial when the publication comes out. And noting the position held by the President, it would have been ideal if he had given his views at that time and we would have been able to sit down to work out what we understand to be fact at that time.
"At the moment, he can say he denied what I have put in the book, but I can say that I stand by every word in that book," Rabuka said.
Rabuka said the book is about himself and the changes that have taken place in his 51 years.
"I believe it's a very frank document, documenting my life up to a few months ago before the manuscripts went to press. As I have stated, the book written by Professor Sharpham is based on what I related to him as far as I can recall and as far as we can gather from those people whose lives and mine have weaved together the pattern that has formulated the person that I am," Rabuka said.
The book claims that Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara on May 10, 1987, at the Pacific Harbour Golf Club discussed military options with Rabuka to overthrow Dr Timoci Bavadra's Government.
President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara has denied any involvement in the 1987 military coup. He is in Hawaii chairing a high level meeting of Pacific leaders...PNS
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