8 Jan 2009

Fiji political group threatens suspension supporters with visa restrictions

4:06 pm on 8 January 2009

A coalition of minor political parties in Fiji is threatening other Pacific states with visa restrictions if they decide to ban the country from the Pacific Islands Forum.

Suspending Fiji from the regional body is one of the options to be discussed at a special Forum leaders summit in Port Moresby later this month.

A spokesperson for the People's Movement for Political Reform or PEMPOR says Fiji will impose a trade boycott on New Zealand if the suspension goes ahead.

Fred Caine says other Pacific states will lose more than Fiji if they decide to bar it from the Forum.

"I'll give you one example. The island of Tuvalu, it comes into Fiji in and out without visa, they have all the education in Fiji and when they want to go overseas they have to come and transit through Nadi International Airport. Now the thing that the government can do is follow Helen Clark's policy by telling them to apply for a visa. These are the drastic actions we can take."

Fred Caine of PEMPOR.