30 Jun 2011

Concerns raised over Fiji plan to get into the arms business

7:10 pm on 30 June 2011

A Fiji NGO Coalition is extremely concerned over reports that the Fiji interim government is inviting foreign investors to set up an arms and ammunition business in the country.

FBC News reports a senior ministry of defence official as saying Fiji is looking at setting up a manufacturing plant for firearms and ammunition.

The interim attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, is reported as saying that no law has been changed, and has in fact been in place since 1978.

The chair of the NGO Coalition on Human Rights, Shamima Ali, says Fiji does not need more guns.

"Particularly with the present set up, when something is talked about, it's going to happen. And there are no checks and balances at the moment, and also with the PER in place, protests can not be conducted as strongly as we would hae done in the past."

Shamima Ali says the interim government needs to have urgent dialogue with civil society groups and peace activists over the issues.