23 Apr 2007

Fiji human rights commission pulls out of inquiry into long running gold mine strike

7:44 pm on 23 April 2007

The Fiji human rights commission says it has agreed to suspend discussions with the parties over a complaint from some Vatukoula gold mine workers concerning a prolonged strike.

The dommission director, Dr Shaista Shameem, says they had received a complaint regarding alleged constitutional breaches relating to the work and pay conditions of about 300 miners who had been on strike since 1991.

She says the attorney general advised the commission that the interim government is negotiating what he hopes would be a successful outcome for the striking mineworkers as well as those affected recently by the closure of the mine.

Dr Shameem says they agreed to step aside while the negotiations were being undertaken so as not to duplicate the efforts of the Attorney General's Office and to allow the parties to negotiate directly with government.