More Problems in Fiji

Problems in Fiji affect New Zealand. Many New Zealanders go to Fiji on holiday, many Fijians live in New Zealand and we are part of the Pacific Islands Forum. (see January 27th 2009) The countries which belong to the Pacific Islands Forum want Fiji to hold democratic elections but this will not happen for at least five years.

Last week the judges ruled that Fiji’s military government was not a legal government under the constitution so the President of Fiji got rid of the judges and the constitution. Now Commodore Bainimarama is back as Prime Minister. He has brought in a state of emergency for 30 days. This means rule by the police and military. It also means censorship of TV and newspaper news. Reporters cannot say anything negative about the Fijian government. Foreign reporters were told to leave Fiji. A TV3 reporter and cameraman were sent back to New Zealand and the cameraman had to wipe some of his film. An Australian reporter from ABC was also sent back to his country.

The New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs said that any New Zealanders going to Fiji need to be very careful. It is possible that there could be violence. It is school holidays for New Zealand children until April 26th so many families have already booked their holidays in Fiji. They will not want to cancel their holiday.

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