23 Dec 2002

Fiji Indians express anger over entry bans into American Samoa

11:48 am on 23 December 2002

Political parties representing Fiji's ethnic Indians have expressed outrage at American Samoa's decision to ban the entry of Fiji nationals because of its large Muslim population.

The Fiji Times quotes a Labour Party spokesman, Lekh Ram Vyashnoi, as saying it's an irresponsible decision when Fiji's Muslim community has no association with Al Qaeda or any such terrorist groups.

The National Federation Party leader, Prem Singh, says the ban is not justified because Fiji's Muslims are a peace loving community.

But the foreign secretary, Ratu Isoa Gavidi, says while the policy is unfair, it is a reality Fiji has to face.

Mr Gavidi says the Bali incident has changed the perception that island paradises are safe.