Monday, June 15, 2009

The Ultimate Treachery - Our Soldiers used as Guinea Pigs by British

The Fiji Government must do more to bring the plight of soldiers like Viliame Sigamasa, 71 and Simeli Rokotuibau, 81 to the attention of the British Authorities who used their own soldiers as guinea pigs during the 1950's.

Hundreds of Fijian soldiers were exposed to radiation during the nuclear tests and used as guinea pigs. No treatment was ever made available for the inevitable sickness and suffering that followed.

This was the ultimate betrayal by our former colonial rulers.

But some good news for the families of the exploited soldiers may be on the way if the Fijian authorities can get their act together.

Thousands of British nuclear test veterans are attempting to sue the government for cancers and other illnesses they say were caused by participation in Britain's atmospheric nuclear test programme between 1952 and 1958.

The High Court in London has now decided to allow the veterans to proceed with a class action for compensation. The Ministry of Defence, which has consistently denied responsibility for the men's illnesses, argued that their claim should be struck out under the Limitation Act because they did not sue within three years of injury, or within three years of discovery of injury.

The decision to allow the veterans to sue the MoD for negligence is the culmination of a 50-year struggle for justice.

As many as 27,000 men, including contingents from New Zealand and Fiji, took part in the tests, which began with Operation Hurricane, the detonation of Britain's first atomic bomb in the Monte Bello Islands off the north-west coast of Australia.

The Fiji Government must act to join the class action on behalf of our soldiers so that maybe their families can get some compensation after all these years.

Act now!



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