#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fiji's Acting PM responds to suspension

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fiji's Acting PM responds to suspension

Fiji's Acting prime minister and Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, says Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum is "regrettable".

He said the announcement was made via the media without any formal notification and it was only at the prompting of the Fiji Government that a diplomatic note was received later in the day.

"It is apparent that despite our Prime Minister writing to the Chair, highlighting the change in dynamics in Fiji vis a vis the new legal order; the fact that elections cannot and should not be held under a skewered electoral system; and Fiji’s willingness to engage with the Forum taking into account the facts and ground realities; the Forum and its Chair have chosen to ignore the circumstances in Fiji and the willingness of our Government, the willingness of Fiji to engage in a constructive and meaningful manner," Mr Sayed Khaiyum said.

"The statement also falsely refers to so called breaches of basic human rights, democracy and freedom under a military regime. Again such inaccurate statements do not lend credibility to the analysis and conclusions arrived at by the Chair."

Mr Sayed Khaiyum accused the Forum of being misled by New Zealand and Australia.

"Such inaccuracies and holding on to dogma begs the question whether the Forum is holding on to particular ideas, ideas that are factually incorrect. They appear to be based on representations made by only a few with political agendas and are reflective of the positions taken by the metropolitan powers
in Wellington and Canberra."

He said Fiji after the 1987 coups Fiji did not have elections for five years, yet Fiji was not suspended from the Forum.

"The rationale behind the overthrow of the Bavadra government and the subsequent actions of the then new government were most dubious to say the least. Yet there was no suspension."

"The Government and the people of Fiji have very strong ties with our brothers and sisters in the Pacific. No such suspension can sever those ties. Fiji is part of the Pacific and the Pacific is part of Fiji," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

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