Jul 13, 2010

Bananadrama's at it again

Fiji to oust Australia high commissioner
July 12, 2010 - 8:14PM

Fiji's military regime has retaliated against Australia after Suva suffered severe embarrassment when its Melanesian neighbours suddenly cancelled a high profile summit later this month.

Australian High Commissioner Stephen Smith said tonight their acting High Commissioner had been forced to leave Fiji by order of coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama.

He said it was because Australia would not support the summit meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

New Zealand has also refused to support the meeting but it is not known whether Suva will act again against Wellington.

Bainimarama had touted the MSG summit later this month as a counter-point to the Pacific Forum 16-nation summit that has suspended Fiji's membership.

The MSG takes in the Melanesian nations of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the Melanesian political party in the French territory of New Caledonia.

Bainimarama had persuaded several Polynesian nations to attend the summit and claimed it was to counter the domination of Australia and New Zealand in the forum.

In an announcement tonight MSG chairman and Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Edward Natapei said they were deferring the summit because members could not agree on who would be the next chairman.

Natapei said the long term ramifications of Fiji chairing the MSG could not be ignored.

"There are basic fundamental principles and values of democracy and good governance that our organisation is built on and we must continue to uphold them," he said.

Mr Smith told AAP the decision to expel the Australian high commissioner was both unjustified and disappointing, but Australia would not retaliate.

"I'm not proposing to respond in kind," Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said the reason behind Ms Roberts' expulsion was Australia's view with other Pacific countries that it was inappropriate to meet with Fiji as part of the MSG.

Fiji is a member of the sub-regional group and Bainimarama has been trying to build his support base with other Melanesian countries in the Pacific.

"We made it quite clear it was inappropriate," Mr Smith said.

"That's the proper reason from Fiji for the expulsion."

Mr Smith said he had spoken to his New Zealand counterpart, Murray McCully, and advised him of the "disappointing, surprising and a regrettably backward step".

He had also told him he would not respond by expelling Fiji's sole diplomat to Australia.


Anonymous said...

Fiji's leader snubbed by Pacific trade bloc

Fiji's interim prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, has suffered an embarrassing rebuke by several of his Pacific neighbours.

Members of the diplomatic trade bloc, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), were expected to appoint Frank Bainimarama as its chairman later this month. But that's all changed.

The MSG has put out a statement, postponing the meeting until further notice, which is a major blow for Fiji's military-backed leader.

LISTEN : http://www.abc.net.au/ra/asiapac/stories/m1896656.asx

Anonymous said...

So now its Australia's fault that the Fiji economy is going under.

Wah wah wah ... talk about big baby!

AFP Quote

... "However, Kubuabola accused Australia of undermining Fiji's sovereignty and weakening its economy".

This is exactly the same as if when I burnt the roti, me blaming the Netherlands, or whichevr/whatever pops into my head.

Thick ?

Anonymous said...

Overseas travel problem?
(watch future itinary).

International warrants for arrest of Bainimarama re torture & death of CRW prisoners now acivated.