14 Jan 2010

Academic says Fiji clampdown fuels more opposition

6:49 pm on 14 January 2010

A political sociologist at Auckland University's Pacific Centre, Dr Steven Ratuva, says this year's clampdown in Fiji comes at a time when many were hoping for more flexibility on the part of the interim regime.

The interim regime has threatened to stop paying pensions to dissenters and banned the Methodist Church from holding its annual conference for another four years while the judiciary has had magistrates sacked without the public being given any explanations.

Mr Ratuva says the regime appears to be losing any willingness of cooperation.

"When the regime should be creating space for dialogue, creating space for bridge building, it's actually doing the opposite. All the implications of what they are doing is creating a much bigger environment for opposition, much bigger space for confrontation within the country."

Dr Steven Ratuva