19 Mar 2013

Somare's support of Fiji leadership continues historic solidarity says analyst

4:10 pm on 19 March 2013

Papua New Guinea's reiteration of support for the leadership of Fiji at a time when it is attracting international criticism is being said to reflect an historic solidarity between the two countries.

The former prime minister Sir Michael Somare is in Fiji for the Melanesian Spearhead Group's 25th anniversary celebrations and has been reported as saying no one from outside can influence Fiji.

The comment comes amid an outcry over an online video of two tied-up men being beaten by Fiji security officers.

The Pacific Institute of Public Policy's Ben Bohane says Sir Michael's reported ongoing support of the Commodore despite his refusal to condemn the beatings reflects MSG loyalties.

"I thin there's a great deal of solidarity that comes into play with the MSG. And there is a sense of not being overly interfering in other nations' own particular issues. And so there's been the opportunity for countries to develop at their own pace and find their own way forward."

The Pacific Institute of Public Policy's Ben Bohane