11 Oct 2003

Fiji Labour Party attacks Australia for allowing lands minister into country

10:18 am on 11 October 2003

The Fiji Labour Party has attacked the Australian government for allowing the lands minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, to enter the country to watch the national team play against France in its opening match of the Rugby World Cup in Brisbane tonight.

The Fiji Times quotes the party president, Mrs Jokapeci Koroi, as saying the minister must be arrested and charged under the international treaty on combatting terrorism, for allegedly orchestrating violence during the 2000 coup.

Mrs Koroi says the Australian government has failed to apply its own anti-terrorism policy on the first anniversary of the Bali bombing in Indonesia.

She has questioned why the minister has been allowed entry when many genuine and law-abiding Fiji citizens are refused visas by Australia.

Mrs Koroi says such actions are a travesty of justice on the part of the Howard government.

The Labour Party president has also questioned why Air Pacific and Qantas allow people who were actively involved in and have been charged with terrorism. and are awaiting trial, to board their aircraft.