20 Apr 2009

New Fiji movement in Australia calls for tough sanctions

2:41 pm on 20 April 2009

A new Fiji democracy movement in Australia is calling for blanket trade sanctions to be slapped on their homeland.

The movement also wants the Australian and New Zealand governments to ban Air Pacific from flying into their countries, and for all sporting contacts with Fiji to be banned.

The Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement was formed at a meeting in Sydney last weekend, and is working to establish branches across Australia and internationally.

Its president, Usaia Peter Waqatairewa says they are calling on the international community to take tougher action against the government in Fiji.

"They should up the economic sanctions. They should be more vocal in discouraging Australian people from going to Fiji on holidays because what we need to do is stop the bloodflow of funds that's propping up this illegal regime, because what we are dealing with right now is a dictator and a bully."

Usaia Peter Waqatairewa says sanctions may hurt people in Fiji in the short term, but they are already suffering under the military regime and there will be long term benefits if it is stopped.