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Baba Slams 'Police State'

Baba Slams 'Police State'

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By Mithleshni Gurdayal, of the Daily Post
USP Journalism Graduate

SUVA: Fiji's military installed interim administration has been accused of turning the Pacific country into a police state.

Ousted deputy Prime Minister in the People's Coalition Government, Dr Tupeni Baba, yesterday made the claim while reacting to the interim administration's intentions to implement new security decrees.

Dr Baba said the people of Fiji needed more than decrees to effectively address their immediate problems.

"The administration's plan to bring in new decrees shows the kind of ill-conceived decisions they make and it is aimed to turn Fiji into a police state," he said.

"People are suffering as a result of what happened on May 19. Refugees at the the Girmit Centre have gone through a lot. Some of them have lost everything and need assistance to begin a completely new life," Dr Baba said.

"Now what has the administration done about it? Have they worked out some practical help, like compensating them, building their homes, providing them with the necessary "household items to start anew?"

He said the administration must be prepared to resettle displaced families.

Dr Baba emphasised that assurances for safety were not the only things these terrorised families needed.

"Right now, police and the military presence is not everything," he said.

"The administration has to take some positive step to help displaced families. Four months have passed and no practical help has come from them. Why are these refugees put aside - is it because they are Indians?" Dr Baba asked.

Meanwhile, interim administration Attorney-General Alipate Qetaki said the refugees were not willing to accept assistance provided by the interim administration.

"There is nothing legal about these people congregating at that place and refusing to receive government representatives who are willing to help and discuss their problems and to seek a long-term solution."

+++niuswire

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