31 Aug 2011

Leaked cable says Asian countries were urged to speak out more against Fiji coup

6:11 pm on 31 August 2011

A leaked cable from the United States Embassy in Fiji in the months after the 2006 coup says Asian countries were challenged to speak up more against human rights abuses said to have been perpetrated by the Fiji military.

The report released by Wikileaks relates how Malaysia rejected the appeal.

Sally Round reports.

"The cable gives details of a meeting in 2007 between foreign missions resident in Fiji and a delegation from the Pacific Islands Forum. It went to Fiji to hold discussions about the military takeover with a broad cross section of the domestic and international community. The report says China was a notable exception to the many missions which condemned the military takeover and called for a rapid return of democracy. It says China rather hoped for a return of stability and continued friendly ties with Fiji. The cable says Malaysia was the only country to respond to an appeal by Britain for Asian countries to speak out more. Malaysia reportedly said much as it deplored the human rights abuses it's primary concern was the cost of the coup through the likely negative impact on Malaysia's aid programmes. Malaysia supported the work of the Fiji Human Rights Commission which US diplomats described as a tool of the military."