19 Mar 2004

Papuan delegate faced with Fiji threats

4:18 pm on 19 March 2004

A delegate originally from the Indonesia's Papua province to this week's indigenous leaders' conference in Fiji has revealed that he was declared persona non grata and initially barred from entering the country.

"The Fiji Times reports that Viktor Kaisiepo , funded by the World Bank to attend the conference as a representative of indigenous people, says he was nearly barred."

He says Fiji's representative at the United Nations, Colonel Isikia Savua, went to stop him.

Mr Kaisiepo says he told Colonel Savua to arrest him when he returned from Fiji, not when he was about to leave Los Angeles for Fiji.

And he says he was only allowed into Fiji on the condition that he did not participate in any political activities.

He says he was in Fiji to discuss the World Bank's scheme to help indigenous business people.