15 Jun 2007

Fiji politicians react to expulsion of New Zealand High Commissioner

10:15 am on 15 June 2007

There are calls in Fiji for the interim administration to reconsider its decision to expel the New Zealand high commissioner, Michael Green.

The administration declared Mr Green persona non grata yesterday and ordered him to leave the country by Monday.

The ousted prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says Mr Green does not deserve such treatment because he was performing his duties faithfully.

Mr Qarase says Fiji cannot afford to be isolated by New Zealand and Australia because it depends more on them than the other way around.

The ousted opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has called on the government to engage and resolve this issue with New Zealand authorities to avoid worsening the situation.

Mr Beddoes described Mr Green's expusion as ludicrous and said the administration's action was ill-advised.

The deposed education minister and Rewa high chief, Ro Teimumu Kepa, says the decision by the interim government would have repercussions which would mostly affect people at the grassroots level.

The National Federation Party says the interim administration should think about the welfare of former Fiji residents now living in New Zealand and those queuing in large number outside its high commission hoping to get there.

The Citizens Constitutional Forum says the implications of such actions are serious as Fiji has more to lose than New Zealand.

The interim administration set up after the 1987 Rabuka coups expelled the then Indian ambassador, Mrs Sonnu Kochar, and ordered the embassy closed after accusing her of interfering in local politics.