Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 07:56 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 07:56 | SYDNEY

Fiji: Buying itself out of democracy?


Fergus Hanson


16 April 2008 16:19

The un-elected government in Fiji appears to be up to no good...again. According to this article, Fijian police arrested 17 people outside the Chinese Embassy for holding a peaceful vigil against the recent crackdown in Tibet. The Fijian Government, led by Commodore Bainimarama, has taken a contrarian position on Tibet: it joined Tonga (also not a democracy) in expressing support for China's handling of the recent unrest. The article notes that the Fijian Government's heavy-handed response comes at the same time it is finalising negotiations for a massive preferential loan deal with China. And it would appear that China has sharply stepped-up its aid to Fiji since the latest coup, which clearly makes the process of isolating Fiji and encouraging a return to democracy more difficult. How difficult though? In the coming days The Interpreter will host a debate on whether the Commodore is on track to keep his promise to hold elections in early 2009, and what if anything needs to be done to ensure a peaceful transition to democracy. Reader contributions are welcome.