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Alliance supports strong Fiji measures

19 July 2000 Media Statement

Alliance supports strong Fiji measures

New Zealand's tough new measures against Fiji have the full support of the Alliance, Deputy Prime Minister and Alliance leader Jim Anderton said today.

New Zealand is sending home members of the Fijian military and calling home members of the New Zealand military in Fiji.

Jim Anderton said it is crucial for strong messages to be delivered to Fiji.

"No one should be blasé about the seriousness of what has happened in Fiji. Eight weeks ago Fiji had a democratic Government in place. Since then, it has been forcibly removed at the point of a gun, and the elected Prime Minister held hostage and threatened with execution. It is vital that no one should be desensitised by the daily insult to democracy in Fiji.

"Imagine if the democratically-elected Government of New Zealand was forcibly removed and held hostage with beatings and threats of execution while the previous Government was installed. If is unthinkable that the rest of the world would do nothing but ban rugby matches until the end of the year. We owe the legitimate government of Fiji and the Fijian people – both indigenous and Fijian Indian -- the same consideration as we would expect.

"Economic sanctions against Fiji seem relatively unnecessary at the moment because of the damage that the crisis is already doing to its economy. But economic sanctions in future cannot be excluded if matters worsen."


ENDS

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