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Respond Strongly To Deteriorating Fiji Situation

27 July 2000


New Zealand must respond in the strongest possible terms to the deteriorating situation in Fiji says, Hon Peter Dunne, leader United New Zealand.

"With parts of Fiji sliding towards anarchy and the military and law enforcers desperately trying to gain control, there will almost certainly be a refugee exodus from Fiji in the coming weeks.

"New Zealand must be contribute significantly to providing safe refuge for Fijians who genuinely fear for their safety and wellbeing and permanent residency permits for those who are already in New Zealand. The Government must ensure through whatever reasonable means are available, that the Immigration Service in Suva remains operational through a this vital time.

"The Government must have in place a proper refugee policy, to implement at short notice if the situation continues to worsen.

Meantime, he says there must be strong diplomatic action. It is not good enough for our Prime Minister to claim "decisions aren't synchronised as closely as they would be ideally", well after events have taken their course.

"What is needed is a strong, unified and steadfast condemnation of the current situation in Fiji, from Australia and New Zealand, to ensure civilian life and law and order is protected. If that means tougher, more immediate economic, sporting and diplomatic sanctions then so be it," says Mr Dunne.


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