12 Dec 2006

Australian foreign minister dismisses Bainimarama criticism

6:09 pm on 12 December 2006

The Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, has hit back at the leader of the Fiji coup, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The military leader accused Mr Downer of inciting unrest and violence by calling for people in Fiji to show passive resistance.

Bur Mr Downer says the Commodore is a military dictator who hauls people into the military barracks who don't agree with him.

"I don't think this is a civilised way to behave frankly. I think what he has done is an appalling thing and I think what he says about the views of the Australian government that we shouldn't speak out any more is arrogance and it will be duly disregarded and treated with the contempt it deserves."

Alexander Downer