9 Aug 2003

Fiji minister questions invitation to Australian trade union leader

7:51 am on 9 August 2003

Controversy has broken out in Fiji over the proposed visit of the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sharron Burrows, to be chief guest at the annual meeting of the Public Servants Association.

The minister for labour, Kenneth Zinck, has told parliament that the Immigration authorities should carefully scrutinise Ms Burrow's visa application before any approval is given.

His comment follows the visit of two Australian trade union officials to the annual convention of the Fiji Labour Party where they threatened sanctions if the outcome of the multi-party cabinet case was not resolved satisfactorily.

They also called foir the extradition of Australian nationals involved in the coup back to Australia so they could be charged with promoting terrorism.

But in an editorial, the Fiji Times says Ms Burrows should be welcomed because she has as much right as anyone to come to the country and engage in discussions with whomsoever she pleases, provided these pose no threat to Fiji's security.