June 25, 2000 |
Gunmen holding Fiji's deposed government hostage released their four remaining female captives early today, including three ministers of the ousted Cabinet, a Red Cross official said. The four women were among 31 hostages being held at the Parliament complex here in the capital. Under heavy police escort, they were taken first to see family members, then to see a team of trauma specialists who gave them medical checkups and counseling, officials said.
June 24, 2000 |
Talks between Fiji's military rulers and gunmen holding 31 members of the deposed government hostage stalled today, dampening hopes that the captives would be released soon. But negotiations resumed in the afternoon. Military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama and rebel leader George Speight met to look over the final draft of an accord negotiators on both sides said Friday would pave the way for the hostages' release.
June 23, 2000 |
Fiji's military leaders reached an agreement with rebel leader George Speight to end a six-week hostage crisis in the South Pacific nation, the Agence France-Presse said. The agreement is to be signed at 11 a.m. local time Saturday, AFP quoted presidential spokesman Joe Brown as saying. It would lead to the release, perhaps as early as Saturday, of the 31 political hostages held captive since the attempted coup May 19.
June 22, 2000 |
The first night wasn't so bad. The young men came, shouted a few insults, threw some rocks, broke a couple of windows. And then, just as quickly as they had emerged from the darkness, they slipped away. It was the second night that Shiri and Veena Devi Ram will never forget. The troublemakers began congregating in front of their house in the late afternoon. There were about 30 of them, young indigenous Fijians from a nearby village, drinking beer and bent on trouble. "Get out!"
June 19, 2000 |
Rebel leader George Speight said he would accept the appointment of ethnic Indians to the country's next government, giving new hope for an end soon to Fiji's government hostage crisis. Heading into a new round of talks with Fiji's military rulers about the makeup of an interim administration, Speight said it was possible that ethnic Indians could be included in the appointments made by a new president. "If that is the case we will accept it," Speight told reporters.
June 17, 2000 |
An international delegation came away from meetings with Fiji's military rulers on Friday with assurances that the military will return the South Pacific nation to democracy in two years. But the promises again put the military at odds with rebel leader George Speight, who is holding 31 political hostages and demanding that Fiji adopt a racist constitution and install him in power.
June 12, 2000 |
Fijian soldiers in Suva, the capital, fired warning shots when vehicles carrying nationalist rebel leader George Speight and his backup team drove through a checkpoint, the military said. Speight was apparently returning from a hospital visit made for an unknown reason, it said. A backup vehicle was hit by a bullet after the cars refused to stop. Speight's vehicle continued to Parliament.
June 11, 2000 |
A mob armed with sugar-cane-cutting knives torched a seaside restaurant late Saturday--the latest violence near Fiji's Parliament, where armed rebels are holding 31 hostages. Firefighters rushed past military checkpoints to get to the blaze, which gutted the Lighthouse Cafe on the edge of Suva harbor. There were no injuries, and the violent crowd, made up of supporters of rebel leader George Speight, did not confront the army, which was manning roadblocks nearby, military spokesman Lt. Col.
June 10, 2000 |
The first thing you notice about the United Apparel factory is its size--bigger than most airplane hangars, with fluorescent lights and white ceiling fans dangling from green girders that stretch the length of two city blocks. Then you notice the noise--the high-speed stutter of sewing machines, the hiss of steam presses, the shouts of workers trying to be heard above the din.
June 5, 2000 |
Talks to free 30 politicians being held hostage by Fijian nationalist rebels were on hold again today because of a "misunderstanding" between the rebels and Fiji's military government. The military said the rebels had not appreciated that it had made its final offer; rebel leader George Speight said the problem was minor and that talks should resume later in the day. Both called the interruption a misunderstanding. A military spokesman also said he expected the talks to resume later today.