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Fiji Interim Government "A Bloody Outrage"

25 May 2000


FIJI INTERIM GOVERNMENT “A BLOODY OUTRAGE”

The decision by the Great Council of Chiefs in Fiji to appoint an interim government for three years is a bitter blow for world democracy and has given legitimacy to thugs with guns.

“The interim government proposal is nothing short of an outrage and runs totally against the aspirations of the Fijian citizens and its international neighbours. New Zealand should make it absolutely clear it will not recognise this sordid regime.

“It is indeed a sad day not only for democracy, but for the aspirations of the majority of Fijian citizens who sought a positive multi-racial future after the years of insecurity following the first coup. Meanwhile the prospect of pardons to criminal thugs is nothing short of a bloody cop-out.

“The potential now for Fiji to descend into ethnic mayhem is sadly very real. There is absolutely no doubt that the economy and infrastructure will crumble as right minded Fijians attempt to leave their home.

“New Zealand must now ensure that the unanimous resolution passed in Parliament on Tuesday is actioned and in light of events the following steps are taken:

 conveying New Zealand’s total disapproval and non-recognition of any interim government
 immediately provide the means of safe passage to New Zealand for all Fijian citizens holding residency permits
 facilitating permanent residence applications on humanitarian grounds by Fijian citizens already in New Zealand
 liberalising refugee status criteria for Fijian citizens wanting to come to New Zealand in humanitarian grounds
 considering the imposition of harsh diplomatic and economic sanctions
 calling on Fijian authorities to immediately put on trial Speight and other coup leaders.
 closely monitoring any further human rights breaches in Fiji

“Only in this way can New Zealand ensure that we are acting as a responsible and concerned South Pacific neighbour. The citizens of Fiji deserve nothing less,” says Mr Dunne.

END

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