4 Jan 2012

Fiji miffed at response to PER announcement

12:32 pm on 4 January 2012

Fiji's interim foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, says Fiji is disappointed at what he calls the continued rhetoric of Australia and New Zealand over Fiji's efforts to modernise the country.

The regime has again announced that it will lift the public emergency regulations, known as PER, from Saturday.

The decision has been welcomed by Australia and New Zealand, which say Fiji is at last responding to calls for the regulations' lifting but add there is still a long way to go.

Ratu Inoke says Fiji's commitment to its Strategic Framework for Change is acknowledged by Pacific small island states, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Bali Democracy Forum.

The PER were imposed in 2009 after the appeal court ruled that Commodore Frank Bainimarama's post-coup interim administration was illegal.

The regime repeatedly promised to lift the PER once its media decree was in place but failed to do so since imposing it 18 months ago.

Fiji has been seeking a lifting of the travel bans New Zealand has been enforcing since 2000 on those involved in the past two coups.