16 Apr 2007

Fiji Labour Party says coup in part to be blamed on NZ, Australia, US and UK

2:04 pm on 16 April 2007

The Fiji Labour Party says Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Britain are partly to blame for the deteriorating situation in Fiji which led to the December military takeover.

In a statement, the Labour Party president, Jokapeci Koroi, says these countries stood by and watched Fiji move from one crisis to another in recent years without lifting a finger.

She says good governance is a requirement under both the Harare and Biketawa Declarations but the four countries seem to invoke these conventions only when it suits them to do so.

Mrs Koroi says these countries must now take a critical look at their role in the region.

She says the Labour Party is alarmed at revelations that the top diplomats from Australia, Britain and the United States allegedly tried to incite mutiny in the army to overthrow the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, a few days before the coup.

Mrs Koroi says such actions will only embitter relations at a time when Fiji needs all the understanding and assistance it can get from those who regard themselves as its friends.

She says instead of imposing severe punitive measures against the interim administration, these countries should re-engage in dialogue with Fiji's leadership.