INDEPENDENT NEWS

FIJI: Parliament dubbed 'House of evil'

Published: Wed 26 Jul 2000 09:27 AM
FIJI'S PARLIAMENT DUBBED 'HOUSE OF EVIL'
USP Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/ USP Journalism on the Fiji crisis (UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/ USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ): http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook
SUVA: Fiji's Parliament has been dubbed the "house of evil" in a banner headline in the Daily Post today and reporters said used condoms and women's undergarments were strewn in almost all its offices.
A team of Daily Post reporters which visited the complex yesterday said the worst-hit area was the library which was torn down by George Speight's rebels searching for a "secret tunnel" claimed to link Parliament to Government House.
"The tunnel, of course, was not found," the newspaper said.
Secretary to Parliament Mary Chapman said she could not envisage future parliamentary business being held in Veiuto, as it had been reduced to a "house of sin" during the 60-day siege.
Some may say the "house of evil", she added.
Taxpayers are expected to foot the bill and damage may run to millions of dollars, the paper said.
"Obviously my plea to the group to look after Parliament fell on deaf ears," Mrs Chapman said.
"I am so disappointed."
Rebels also broke into a safe stored in the accounts office and stole some uncrossed cheques.
"Parliament, usually a place revered by all citizens of Fiji, has lost its dignity after it was vacated by the rebels," Mrs Chapman added.
Condemning the actions of the rebels, the Daily Post said in an editorial headlined "When evil reigns" that the mood in Parliament was so volatile that "even if Jesus Christ was to come down in person to visit the Veuito complex, they would have crucified Him again".
The paper said: "To put it mildly, during the 60-odd days of the siege, the legislature, the most sacred institution of the land has been turned into a house of sin - let alone a slaughter yard and a cemetary.
"The stench of garbage and the overflowing sewer are unbearable. Empty bottles of beer and spirits were strewn all over the place, including dirty underpants, lingerie and condoms.
"Damage to the infrastructure alone, that is, the main debating chamber, parliamentary officers, library and toilet blocks has been estimated to run into millions of dollars.
"It brings home the reality that if Speight and his group is allowed to run the affairs of this nation, there is no hope left for Fiji."
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