11 Jun 2009

Fiji cannot go it alone internationally, says academic Lal

1:35 pm on 11 June 2009

An Australian-based Fiji academic, Dr Brij Lal, says Fiji's interim regime is yet to realise that it cannot go it alone and that it will have to engage with the international community.

Dr Lal made the comment in a speech prepared for this week's accountants conference but which was dropped after pressure from the interim regime.

He says no country, including China, will invest in an environment characterised by systemic instability.

Dr Lal also says he knows that no country will enjoy political stability needed for economic development unless there is a basic respect for the rule of law.

He says Fiji cannot and should not expect immunity or exception from international disapproval for what has happened.

Dr Lal says the interim regime appears to be engaged in trying to create utopia in Fiji which raises the question whether the military will allow elections before 2024.

He says despite censorship, the boundaries are too porous and the exercise of controlling speech is futile and self-defeating.