15 Mar 2012

Vanuatu newspaper publisher says heavy security around Fiji's leader ridiculous

8:33 pm on 15 March 2012

A Vanuatu newspaper publisher says security for Fiji's interim Prime Minister during a visit to Port Vila this week was absolutely ridiculous.

Frank Bainimarama was in the country for a Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting

The Daily Post's Marc Neil-Jones says Commodore Bainimarama was treated like a God during his visit, being escorted on his trips around the city by four cars in front and three behind, all flashing their lights.

"Numerous security guards everywhere he goes, who are carrying guns which aren't allowed in Vanuatu. It's just ludicrous. I've even heard stories at the hotel he was staying, a ni-Vanuatu from a nearby village in a canoe chased away by security for coming too close to where his bungalow was."

Marc Neil Jones says Frank Bainimarama also refused to have any contact with media.

While in Vanuatu he was installed as traditional Vanuatu chief.

At the same his interim regime was abolishing Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs claiming it was a colonial anachronism that had become politicised.