forwarded from Phil (unsubbed address)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Aug 25 18:38:15 MDT 2000

This was an interesting post from Ulhas.

Like I said a while back, it is inconceivable that Rabuka and the Fiji
brass did not know about the coup.  Fiji is a tiny country and Rabuka had
dictator, running a military regime, for over a decade.

The story below, that Rabuka was planning a coup and Speight was part of it
but pre-empted it, is quite plausible.  However, the main point is that
someone, some very powerful forces, opnes friendly to western capital, were
involved up to their eyeballs.

The Fijian military are an integral part of western capital's military
apparatus.  The Fijian Army has one whole battalion permanently engaged in UN
'peacekeeping', they just rotate it.  This has also been quite an important
source of income for the military government of Rabuka.

Lingeri, Speight's main man, is (ex?)British SAS.  He was captured by the IRA
in Ireland in the 1970s.  Unfortunately, they let him go.

Speight's connections to TRM remind me of the 'indigenists' on Santos in
Vanuatu, who were in the pocket of a big western company and who tried to
split the island away *after* the radical nationalist Vanua'aku Pati won its
struggle for independence from France and Britain.

And some people in the US still wonder why a lot of Pacifc Islands radical
nationalists and Marxists are opposed to 'indigenism' in places like Fiji!


>22 August 2000
>Chaudhry sees US hand in Fiji coup
>By Mahendra Ved
>NEW DELHI: Deposed Fijian Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has charged that
>his predecessor Sitiveni Rabuka had planned the May coup against his
>government, to become the country's president, but George Speight, who was
>party to the conspiracy, upstaged the plotters by acting three days too
>Far from being the result of an ethnic divide, the coup was triggered by his
>government's decision to award contracts for harvesting forests and
>processing of timber. The US embassy in Suva, he alleged, was "pushy" about
>an American firm getting the timber contract. "I think big bucks were
>involved," he told The Times of India.
>As for the May 19 coup when he and his cabinet minister were captured in the
>parliamentary complex, Chaudhry said: "The action was planned for May 22.
>But Speight beat them to it by three days. And having scented power, Speight
>wanted to remain in the driving seat, to become the prime minister himself
>or nominate one of his men."
>"Speight is a fall guy, used by those defeated in last year's election.
>Rabuka very much played a behind-the-scene role, Speight and his accomplices
>told me while I was their hostage. I had heard Speight asking on the
>telephone about Rabuka. Lingeri, Speight's principal aide, told me the plan
>was that Rabuka would take over in the name of the Great Council of Chiefs,"
>he said.
>"Rabuka had met me a little before Speight acted. His plans failed because
>of Speight. Speight himself could not take matters to their logical
>conclusion. So the crisis lingered on," Chaudhry said.
>He added that his government had favoured Commonwealth Development
>Corporation (CDC), a British government-owned firm with a good track record
>in Africa. But Speight, during the Rabuka Government, had favoured Timber
>Resource Management (TRM), a US firm put together to bid for the right to
>exploit Fiji's forest wealth.
>"There is speculation that the US embassy put indirect pressures on my
>government through the attorney-general and prominent coalition members.
>There was big money and power involvement. So we want an inquiry to find the
>real players behind the scene. I think the game-plan was to remove us
>because we couldn't be bullied."
>Chaudhry further alleged that, "Speight was their proxy. He received money
>from the TRM."
>AFP reports from Suva: Poseci Bune, minister for agriculture in the deposed
>government, revealed that Speight, minutes after taking the government
>hostage, said he was not the real leader of the coup.
>Rabuka, a former prime minister who had plotted two coups, is not above
>suspicion, though he has denied any involvement in Speight's coup.
>The army intends to hold a court martial to deal with the conspirators and
>interim president Iloilo has promised the appointment of a commission of
>inquiry into the coup. But whether these inquiries will reveal the real face
>of the man behind the May 19 coup is a moot point.
>Nevertheless, some are wondering whether Speight, facing trial for treason,
>might reveal in court the identity of the man who failed to turn up at one
>of the defining moments in Fiji's history.
>Box: Fijian drama
>``Speight is a fall guy, used by those defeated in last year's election.
>Rabuka very much played a behind-the-scene role...There is speculation that
>the US embassy put indirect pressures on my government through the
>attorney-general and prominent coalition members. There was big money and
>power involvement. So we want an inquiry to find the real players behind the
>scene. I think the game-plan was to remove us because we couldn't be
>For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service
>Copyright © 2000 Times Internet Limited. All rights reserved.   Disclaimer

Louis Proyect
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