12 Mar 2009

Fiji Opposition leader says suggestions Fiji does not need international community are

4:40 pm on 12 March 2009

Fiji's ousted opposition Leader, Mick Beddoes, has described as 'silly' and 'counterproductive', suggestions made by the Interim PM that Fiji did not need anything from members of the Commonwealth or international community.

Mr Beddoes said that while the Interim PM may well have been letting off steam and reacting to the announcement by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, he is obliged to chose his words carefully given his current position.

Mr Beddoes cited the gold, sugar and tourism industries as being vulnerable if the Commodore ended all ties with the International community and pushed Fiji into isolation.

He highlighted tourist arrivals from New Zealand and Australia; two countries which have been heavily criticised by the Commodore.

Mr Beddoes says if Fiji cuts ties completely, he doubts China and India would be able to supply the 56% of annual tourists that arrive from New Zealand and Australia alone.

Mr Beddoes said the Interim PM must be made to understand that such remarks will do nothing to improve confidence at any level.