14 Jul 2003

Fiji group says there is no justification for the Solomons intervention force

10:15 am on 14 July 2003

The Suva-based Pacific Concerns Resource Centre has expressed grave concern about the deployment of 15 Australian military personnel in Solomon Islands to pave the way for a 2000-strong force.

It says Australia has no justification for its intervention, even if it is at the request of the Solomon Islands government.

The PCRC says the National Peace Conference held in Honiara in August 2000 wanted "demilitarisation under international control" which they saw as fundamental to the peace process and regaining stability.

The organisation says it is for this reason that it is pleading with the Solomon Islands government "not to trade off their people's sovereignty, indigenous rights, cultural heritage and dignity."

The PCRC says if this intervention is left unchallenged and unquestioned, the Pacific will be setting a dangerous precedent for itself.