*Media Release from Hon. Wilkie Rasmussen’s Office
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon Wilkie Rasmussen said that he expected Forum members to respond ‘with one voice’, in a statement released by his office today on developments in Fiji.
“The Prime Minister is presently overseas, but I am in touch with his office. The Chairman of the Forum, the Premier of Niue Mr Toke Talangi has written to all Forum Leaders requesting bringing forward the required date which is 1 May 2009 for Fiji to announce an election to be held by December 2009. There will be a full statement from Mr Talangi in due course” said the Minister.
He has also suggested an urgent meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Forum countries to review the recent actions taken by Commodore Bainimarama.
Minister Rasmussen, on behalf of the Cook Islands government condemns the gagging of the media and the further suppression of human rights in Fiji by the Commodore.
“It is very concerning that we have in the Pacific what is essentially a Junta Regime where martial law is the order of Fiji. This is not acceptable in the Pacific region”, says Rasmussen.
The Cook Islands is working together with other Pacific countries including New Zealand and Australia to find a solution to the continuing deterioration of law and order in Fiji and the standard of living.