More trouble in paradise

By Administrator |

Foreign ministries in both Australia and New Zealand have condemned what they term as 'a military dictatorship' in Fiji, following the apparent takeover of power by Army head Frank Bainimarama and the blocking of foreign

radio broadcasts into the country.

At the same time, several important tourism and business partner countries have issued travel advisory notices warning their citizens to 'exercise caution' or avoid visiting the tourism-reliant country altogether for the time being.

The Australian Government has warned its citizens to 'exercise caution' when visiting the country and reports that 'credible threats have been made against the Australian High Commission and its staff in Suva'. At the same time, the New Zealand Government has warned its citizens in Fiji to be 'security conscious at all times, and especially around the capital of Suva.

The current troubles follow the appointment of a new interim government on April 11 led by the Commander of the Fiji military Frank Bainimarama and the imposition of Public Emergency Regulations which give the police and military extensive powers.

While both the governments of Australia and New Zealand – two very important sources of tourists of Fiji – have condemned the effective suspension of democracy in Fiji, the US State Department recently joined the list of critics, issuing the following travel advisory statement: ‘The independence of Fiji's law enforcement and judicial systems appears compromised, putting into question protections ordinarily afforded by the rule of law. The Department of State continues to warn US citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to the Republic of Fiji at this time.’

Meanwhile, Fiji's new military-led government has devalued the country's currency by 20%, blocked foreign news broadcasts and introduced exchange controls to try and prevent businessmen and others from taking their money out of the country.


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