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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006, 10:31 GMT
Fijians wary after military coup
The military commander of Fiji has seized control of the country in a bloodless coup.

Here, people in the capital Suva tell the BBC News website about their reaction to the fourth coup in 20 years.


Junior Lepper
Junior Lepper is worried about the impact on tourism
Everyone expected the military to act and now they have gone past the point of no return. Although a lot of people sympathise with the cause of the military commander, his methods are to be deplored.

We all know how damaging something like this can be.

It will make life much harder for people and many in the tourism industry will lose their jobs. There are rumours of a devaluation in the Fiji dollar. Our shipping company purchases lots of things from overseas and now they will be more expensive.

Once everyone starts feeling the pinch and once incomes are lost, there will be more dissatisfaction.

In a sense, we are all relieved that it is over with. Life will go on.

What will make life difficult now are foreign governments like New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Trade sanctions, suspending aid, and travel advisories will make the situation so much worse. Whatever they do, trying to punish the commander will cause damage to the people, to those of us at the grassroots.

This is out of our hands. I mean, what are we supposed to do? Whatever punitive action they might take won't change the commander's mind.

It could just push us further into misery.


Ashneel Singh
Ashneel Singh says many Indian Fijians support the military's move

To be frank, there is no panic on the streets. Compared to the last three coups, this is a quiet one. I don't believe there is much to worry about.

In the past indigenous Fijians came out onto the street and problems erupted with the Indian Fijians. We cannot predict if this will happen this time. Perhaps the dawn will bring such activities, but perhaps not.

Many of us Indians support the military commander and many of the indigenous Fijians support the democracy. But Indians had serious problems with the proposals put forward by the democratically elected Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

He wanted to allocate the ownership of coastal land to the indigenous Fijians.

We believe that God has given three things for free: the land the wind and the sea. I don't think Qarase should have taken the land and just given it to the Fijians. What would be left for the Indian community?

Only Commodore Bainimarama said we didn't need that legislation. So, in my opinion, we can support the coup.

Checkpoints have increased. The army guards are now out in heavy numbers. I am waiting inside and watching developments. We are a little nervous but hopefully life will go on.


Coups are becoming a bad habit in Fiji. If we continue to show the world that Fiji reacts like this, we will get a bad reputation.

Whenever someone hates the government, you cannot just take it over. It's totally against the law.

Everyone is unhappy about this because we took part in elections and this is a civilian government. The rule of law should be paramount.

I can't support people who just come and take the law in their own hands.

Coups are becoming a bad habit in Fiji
We are living in a civil society where democracy is paramount.

For a few months we have felt something fishy going on. When we woke up this morning, we turned on the television and radio and we knew that we were in for another coup.

Our commander has said that we are under military leadership now. I only hope they will look for peace and justice so we can return to democracy as soon as possible.


Zameel Khan
Zameel Khan says people remain confused
We began our media stake-out at 8am local time at the prime minister's residence. We got a tip that he would be meeting the president and thought we could talk to him on his way out.

We waited, but he didn't want to come out and we knew something was wrong.

Around 11am, two large vehicles with military personnel came and they picked up the keys for the prime minister's vehicle and his office. And then a truckload of soldiers came and very aggressively cleared away all media and civilians.

Everyone must be very confused and concerned.

There was no use of force and things seemed to be going on as normal on the streets. People are used to this.

There were vendors on the streets serving food tonight, people were going out, going to nightclubs. They didn't expect any trouble.

Tomorrow, we will all have a clearer idea of what is going on.

Troops take to the streets in Fiji

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