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Australia Suspends Aid To Fiji

Issue No: 238 30 November 2000

Australia has suspended all non-humanitarian aid to Fiji.

This was stated by the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer in his annual report on the Pacific today.

The suspension of non-humanitarian aid by Australia means that Fiji's largest aid donors - Australia, UK, and New Zealand - which together account for over 75% of all development assistance to Fiji, are no longer aiding the country's interim regime.

The suspensions are in line with the stand of these countries that Fiji return to constitutional democracy as soon as possible, and that the recent High Court decision on the 1997 Constitution be respected.

The regime has refused to abide by the law as declared by the High Court. Instead it wants the High Court to suspend the law to allow it to continue to govern. Responding to this request, the High Court judge Anthony Gates questioned the regime's lawyers on the legal basis for him to suspend the Constitution. He further stated that seeking a stay on the law as declared by the High Court was similar to asking a Christian to suspend the Bible!

End

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