28 Jun 2017

Fiji opposition dismayed at military vehicle display

4:43 pm on 28 June 2017

The Fiji opposition leader says the government is harming the country's image by allowing the military to drive around in armoured personnel carriers widely used in combat zones.

Fiji's Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Fiji's Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

Ro Teimumu Kepa said she also questioned the wisdom in buying three Bushmaster vehicles from Australian, describing the purchase as an extravagant use of funds.

She said the recent public parade of the Bushmasters had caused public concern and is now the subject of public discussions throughout Fiji, instilling fear and panic.

By having the armoured personnel carriers in Nadi, the government is not helping the tourism industry or enhancing Fiji's image abroad but rather denting it badly, she said.

Australia agreed to sell 10 Bushmasters to Fiji in February, with the defence minister Marise Payne saying they would be used to support Fiji's United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Middle East.