INDEPENDENT NEWS

Four Women Hostages Released

Published: Sun 25 Jun 2000 01:46 PM
Four Women Hostages Released
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: The four women members of Mahendra Chaudhry's elected government held hostage in Fiji's Parliament for the past five weeks have been released, according to media reports early today.
A Fiji Live report said the four were former Minister for Tourism Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau, Lavenia Padarath (Minister for Women), Marieta Rigamoto (Assistant Minister for Agriculture) and backbencher Akanisi Koroitamana.
Adi Koila is also daughter of the ousted President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and is married to a former military commander, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
The women were released just after midnight.
Still held hostage are 27 more members of the Chaudhry government.
Rebel leader George Speight's media spokesperson Jo Nata told Radio Fiji that releasing the women captives proved that they were not using the hostages as a bargaining tool.
A hostage trauma centre has been set up in the capital of Suva in Gorrie Street, between the Red Cross and Suva Motor Inn. It is expected all hostages when released will be taken there.
Ms Padarath attended a church service this morning at Butt Street church.
The Sunday Post reported that the military council, under the leadership of Commodore Frank Bainimarama, will hold continue to hold executive power for three more months, according to the Muanikau Accord which is now expected to be signed later today.
But the Sunday Times reported that rebel gunmen chief Ilisoni Ligairi said the hostages would only be released when a Fijian administration was set up to govern the country.
Rebel leader George Speight's group had earlier said the hostages would only be released after a traditional ceremony seeking forgiveness from the hostages.
This could take up to 24 hours after the accord is signed.
Veteran soldier Ligairi - known in military circles here as the "invisible man" and "Mr White" because of his hair - is the rebel believed to be partly responsible for the delay in the signing of the accord yesterday.
He told the Sunday Times the freeing of the hostages would be the last step in a sequence of events to follow the signing.
First, he said, the rebels wanted to see a President sworn in to appoint a Fijian administration.
When other issues, such as amnesty and the return of arms to the military barracks in suburban Nabua were sorted out, Ligairi would then talk to the hostages to "mend the relationship" between the rebels and the captives.
Speight's supporters would also be told of the decision.
This process, said the former member of Britain's elite Special Air Service regiment, could take a day or two.
"I would probably call it the Fijian way of doing things," Ligairi told the Sunday Times.
"We are hostage takers and the last thing to be done is the release of the hostages. This will only happen after our demands are met."
During the three months that the military council will stay in control, a Great Council of Chiefs meeting will be convened to appoint a President, according to the Sunday Post.
The President, in consultation with the military council, will then appoint an interim administration to run the affairs of state for the next 21 months.
+++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
Alastair Thompson
Scoop Publisher
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.
Contact Alastair Thompson
Website:
Google+:
Mobile:
021707044
Twitter:
Linkedin:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/alastairlthompson
Media Contact:
021707044
Phone:
021707044
Facebook:
Postal Address:
021707044
Email:
Physical Address:
021707044

Next in World

Chilling The Warm Fuzzies About The US/China Trade Deal
By: Gordon Campbell
On the Iran aftermath
By: Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on the recent upheavals inside Iran
By: Gordon Campbell
World screams out for action but climate summit whispers
By: Oxfam
Decade ending 2019 likely to be hottest on record
By: UN News
“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Trump
By: Caitlin Johnstone
So The US Is Invading Iraq Again
By: Caitlin Johnstone
Full-Scale War Avoided, Trump Right Back To Warmongering
By: Caitlin Johnstone
“We Do Not Seek War,” Says President Who Just Started A War
By: Caitlin Johnstone
US Assassination Of Iranian Military Official May Ignite War
By: Caitlin Johnstone
US Empire’s Passion For Iraqi Democracy Magically Disappears
By: Caitlin Johnstone
Soleimani’s Successor Is Failing
By: Eric Zuesse
How Iran Can Checkmate Trump
By: Eric Zuesse
The USA’s System of Checks, Balances and Reality Crumbles
By: John Stanton
World Leaders Call on US To Resume Diplomacy With Iran
By: Julia Conley
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media