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Island nations censure regime

Island nations censure regime

Sat, 24 Feb 2001 09:50:38 +1200

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI Issue No: 512 24 February 2001

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Island nations censure Regime

The Pacific Island nations have censured the Qarase regime by rejecting Fiji's offer to host this year's Pacific Island Forum Leaders' meeting. Forum chair, Kiribati, relayed the decision of the Forum island nations to hold the meeting in Nauru.

The Qarase regime tried its best to get the meeting held in Fiji. It was Fiji's turn this year to host the meeting. But the continuing reign of an unelected and racist regime has incensed the Pacific Island nations.

One expert on the Pacific associated with a regional organisation commented that by tradition, the Pacific Island nations consider it "impolite to vocally express their views to each other on the wrongs any member of the family [of the region] commits. By Pacific Way, they find other means of communicating their displeasure. In this case, by deciding against coming to Fiji to have their meeting, they have clearly expressed their displeasure at the ousting of an elected government".

So far not a single Pacific Island nation has supported or endorsed the Qarase regime. This is in marked contrast to the 1987 case where all except Solomon Islands and Vanuatu had approved of the coup. Solomon Islands and Vanuatu had continued to recognise Dr. Bavadra as the legitimate Prime Minister of Fiji. Vanuatu had even invited Bavadra to the country in his official capacity late in 1987, but because of his other pressing commitments he could not make the trip. This time around, not even PNG has endorsed the Qarase regime.

The Pacific Island nations now join the Commonwealth, the European Union, Australia, NZ, the US and the Asian nations in rejecting the Qarase regime.


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