One year since release of hostages

Issue No: 940; 13 July 2001

Today marks the first anniversary of the release of the elected government members who were held hostage by right wing terrorists at the Parliament Complex last year.

The terrorists, organised and financed by some chiefs, defeated politicians, sections of the military, and corrupt businessmen, had invaded the Parliament on 19 May 2000 and held the elected government hostage until 13 July 2000. They government was held hostage for 56 days. Many members were brutally beaten and tortured by the terrorists.

This has been the only case in the world where an elected government was held hostage by terrorists.

The hostages were freed after the military struck a deal with the terrorists giving them immunity from prosecution. The Great Council of Chiefs had also demanded that the hostages be freed before they decided to appoint a new President. The substantiative President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara was also deposed jointly by the military and the terrorists.

The hostages were released to the care of the Red Cross on 13 July. During the period they were held hostages, the terrorists had informed the hostages of the names of people who were behind them. Names included those of defeated politicians, police commissioner, some chiefs, some senior soldiers and many businessmen, including some prominent ethnic Indian businessmen. The politicians named belonged to the SVT and a faction of the Fijian Association as well as one member of the VLV. Most of the ethnic Indians named by the terrorists have been known supporters and members of the National Federation Party. The NFP had been eliminated in the 1999 election, winning not a single seat.

The following members were kept as hostages:
1. Mahendra Chaudhry
2. Dr. Tupeni Baba
3. Anand Kumar Singh
4. Ratu Mosese Volavola
5. Shiu Sharan Sharma
6. Manoa Bale
7. Muthu Swamy
8. Poseci Bune
9. Pradhuman Raniga
10. Meli Bogileka
11. Prince Gopal Lakshman
12. Anup Kumar
13. Deo Narain
14. Ponipate Lesavua
15. Dr. Ganesh Chand
16. Dr. G. Gounder
17. Joji Uluinakauvadra
18. Amjad Ali
19. Ratu Isireli Vuibau
20. Rajendra Chaudhry
21. Rev Eloni Goneyali
22. Vinod Maharaj
23. Leo Smith
24. Joeli Kalou
25. Giyanendra Prasad
26. Mohammed Latif Subedar
27. William Aull


People's Coalition Government - Fiji Islands
Last update: August 27, 2001