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Qarase blasts international community

Qarase blasts international community


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Fri, 2 Mar 2001 12:10:18 +1200

Qarase blasts other countries

The Prime Minister of the regime which has been declared illegal by the Fiji Court of Appeal, Laisenia Qarase has blasted other countries for interfering with Fiji's internal affairs.

Devoting over a third of his `Address to the Nation' condemning other nations for insisting on democracy in Fiji, Qarase said that Fiji should be left on its own to solve its problems.

He stated:

"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, I also have a message for the international community. Many countries and international organisations have shown a genuine concern for Fiji and we are grateful for that. Sadly, however, there are those who have acted more in their own self-interests than ours as a sovereign independent country. They do not really understand Fiji's problems; they have only managed to heighten internal tensions and widen the divisions between our two main communities. At times, it has seemed as though we are the victims of a new form of colonialism, with external pressure and threats coming in many forms. It is, apparently, acceptable to bully and threaten a small nation."

"They come with their pre-conceived solution for our country. We must adopt their system of liberal democracy, their standard of human rights and the way they run their economy. It is as though we are incapable of thinking for ourselves, and to work out our own solutions, peacefully through dialogue, taking into account the complex nature of our multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country."

"I say to these Governments and organisations, please leave us alone. The best contribution you can each one make in the present situation is to show your understanding and patience. Just as we would try to avoid making provocative statements about a delicate internal issue in another country, so we expect others to be considerate towards us. Fiji's difficulties will be resolved here, by the citizens of this land who must live with the consequences. Solutions will not be imposed on us by outsiders. We need time and space to repair the damage done to the country, to restore relationships and develop trust. Indeed, the biggest challenge for all of us in Fiji is to work together and co-operate in rebuilding trust and confidence between our communities."

Melbourne's the Age newspaper referred to Qarase as "subdued and apparently irritated"


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