19 Oct 2015

Fiji PM aplogises for coups, but not his own

8:08 pm on 19 October 2015

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has made another apology to those forced to flee the country after the coups in 1987 and 2000.

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Speaking to expatriates at Fiji Day celebrations in Australia on Saturday, he invited expatriates to return home and invest.

A spokesperson for the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement in New Zealand, Nik Naidu, says he thinks the apology was made in good faith.

He says the 1987 coup saw the most Indo-Fijians flee, many of whom were professionals and business people, which caused a loss of intellectual capital and wealth.

Mr Naidu says it is possible some of those expatriates will return to Fiji.

"In 1987, those that came during that coup always felt that they would one day return when they were more welcome. Possibly they will now see this as an opportunity to go back to Fiji. Not necessarily to live permanently but at least to reinvest or maybe even to use Fiji as a place to go and spend three to six months a year possibly in winter."