By LAISA DIGITAKI
12 Howard Place, Tamavua, Suva, FIJI
Thursday, 13th February, 2014
"A Fijian civilian, Mrs Laisa Digitaki-Weleilakeba, is extending a public invitation to Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, to a get-together at her home, to share with her what he knows about the incident at the Fiji Military barracks on Christmas Eve, 2006 where she, Fiji Human Rights Movement Director Virisila Buadromo, former journalist Imraz Iqbal and Youth Advocates, Jackie Koroi and Pita Waqavonovono, were taken from their homes by military personnel and later tortured for their pro-democracy and anti-coup stand following Bainimarama’s coup d’etat of December 5 2006.
Mrs Weleilakeba’s statement was in response to Commodore Bainimarama’s address at the opening of the Women’s Resource Centre in Tavuki, yesterday Wednesday 12 February 2014.
At Tavuki, Commodore Bainimarama said that, “if anyone hits or mistreats a woman in any way, they had better watch out.” He added that, “men who engage in such acts will face the full brunt of the law.”
Mrs Weleilakeba says that while she’s glad that Commodore Voreqe is advocating violence against women, she wants him to first admit what he knows and his involvement in their pro-democracy group’s beating at the Nabua military barracks on Christmas Eve 2006.
“It’s the eve to general elections and many “feel good” words will be released by aspiring politicians like Commodore Bainimarama. But what we Fiji citizens must be able to discern is whether the fruits these individuals are bearing is a testimony to their own words of non-violence.”
“I will be glad to have Commodore Bainimarama over to my home so we could have a one-to-one discussion on his involvement that night and to put to him whether he really believes he is a good role model on violence against women or Fijians in general for that matter.”
“Commodore Bainimarama must be reminded that many Fijians have been tortured, maimed and some even killed by his military personnel under his command as Commodore of the Fiji Military Forces and that he owes it to himself, to those military officers who were misled, and the people of Fiji, to be brutally honest about his involvement.”
Fijilive reported that in Tavuki, Bainimarama encouraged Fijian women to exercise their rights to ensure their protection saying “they must no longer accept being mistreated.”
“In reply to Commodore Bainimarama’s call, I’m now exercising my right as a Fijian woman to ensure my protection and would like to tell Commodore Bainimarama that enough is enough and I will no longer accept being mistreated by any member, servant or affiliates of his military regime. I’m also speaking this on behalf of many silent majority Fijians who’re unable to publicly voice out their opinion on this non-violence matter.”