25 Nov 2002

Chaudhry warnns of starvation if poor not allowed to speak out

6:48 pm on 25 November 2002

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has warned that poor people will face starvation and death if they do not speak out.

Mr Chaudhry issued the warning after the authorities refused to issue permits for weekend protest marches against a 25 percent increase in value added tax and 330 percent increase in the sugar export tax.

He said the nation's poor must be prepared for aggressive demonstrations to protect their right to protest.

The Labour Party leader has also urged parents to encourage their children to standup for justice.

He said the weekend protests were just the start of more demonstrations to follow because the people will not sit back and see injustice done to their bread and butter issues.

Mr Chaudhry said the country was in the grip ofpoverty and yet the government had gone ahead and increased value added tax and the sugar export tax.