4 May 2007

Fiji interim Prime Minister says travel bans are no way to speed path to democracy

9:46 am on 4 May 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says "petty, bullying school yard tactics will not help Fiji move quickly to democracy - they will simply have the opposite effect."

The Fijilive news website says Commodore Bainimarama made the comment when he questioned the need to have travel bans in place to pressure his government for a quick return to democracy.

Commodore Bainimarama says the Fiji government is already committed to such a goal.

He says this is shown by the joint working group comprising Fiji government representatives who are working with the Pacific Islands Forum on the roadmap to parliamentary democracy.

Commodore Bainimarama has called on Australia, New Zealand and the United States to note that Fiji has made good progress in the process of dialogue and consultation to move the country forward and says innocent citizens should not be targetted.

He says Fiji has been encouraged by Pacific island countries where there is goodwill and understanding among its neighbours to assist by offering a helping hand.

Meanwhile, the latest meeting of the Joint Fiji - Forum Working Group took place in Suva yesterday and comprised representatives from Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.