13 Oct 2003

Fiji's pro-coup party says its angered by descriptions of its leader as terrorist

7:25 am on 13 October 2003

The junior partner in Fiji's coalition government, the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua, has attacked the Labour Party saying it is deeply angered by its description of their leader as a terrorist.

The Labour President, Jokapeci Koroi, has attacked the Australian government for allowing the Lands Minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, to enter the country and watch Fiji play France in the Rugby World Cup in Brisbane at the weekend.

Mrs Koroi said the minister must be arrested and charged under the international treaty on combatting terrorism for allegedly orchestrating violence during the 2000 coup.

Mrs Koroi said the Australian government failed to apply its own anti-terrorism policy on the first anniversary of the Bali bombing in Indonesia.

But the Secretary General of the Conservative Alliance, Ratu Josefa Dimuri, has told the Sunday Times that the party and its supporters have been deeply angered by Labour's comments.

Ratu Josefa said Labour was a ruthless, two faced animal which will quickly turn around and bite if it does not have its own way

After the 2001 general election, Labour asked the pro-coup party to join it and form a coalition government