5 Jan 2013

Fiji people 'not being consulted' about changes

10:05 am on 5 January 2013

A Fiji academic believes the people of the Pacific nation are not being properly consulted about a host of changes, including revamping its flag and currency.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has announced that Fiji will get a new flag and images of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II have just been removed from its currency.

The current flag features the Union Jack and a coat of arms that includes bananas.

Brij Lal, of the Australian National University, is questioning who has given the military regime the mandate to change the flag and says there should be no rush to change it.

However, he says the regime will do whatever it wants - regardless of what it says about public consultation and transparency.

"They'll talk about consultation, they'll talk about transparency - but, in fact, they'll do precisely what they want to do in the name of the people of Fiji and I think that is very, very undemocratic."

The Fiji Labour Party says the regime has no right to change the flag.