31 May 2005

Beijing warns Fiji over attacks on Chinese migrants

10:30 am on 31 May 2005

The Chinese ambassador in Fiji has warned that relations between Beijing and Suva will suffer irreparable damage if attacks on Chinese farmers and shopkeepers do not stop.

Ambassador Jinbiao Cai's warning on Fiji TV followed the brutal murder of a 57-year-old migrant Chinese farmer 10km north of Suva last weekend.

Three armed and masked men are reported to have robbed and hacked the farmer to death and then attacked his wife when she came to his aid.

It was the fifth attack on the same family in less than two months.

Ambassador Jinbiao, who visited the murder scene, said it was a brutal and cowardly attack.

He said unless those responsible are brought to justice, it will tell the outside world that Fiji isn't a safe place to live and work, and will cause potential tourists to have second thoughts about coming to Fiji.

Police didn't arrive at the murder scene until over two hours after the first report because they didn't have transport.