Fijian Coup Condemned
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia condemns in the strongest terms, the illegal seizure of the elected representatives of the Fijian people, their detention at the point of the gun for more than a week and the tearing up of the democratic Fijian constitution. The armed coup, led by failed businessman, George Speight, is motivated by racism and a contempt for democratic institutions that had been painfully re-established following the similarly motivated coup of 1987, led at that time by Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka. Speight is demagogically playing on the economic problems and insecurity being suffered by many of the people of Fiji. Fiji is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic community and its future progress and prosperity depends of the implementation of the principles of multi- culturalism and racial tolerance and the extension of democratic rights to all citizens. The coup has also been facilitated by the unelected Great Council of Chiefs failing to uphold the democratic constitution that they had voted for recently. Any government that is based on racism and the business interests of Fijian landed and vested interests cannot serve the interests of Fijian workers whether they are indigenous Fijians or of Indian or other national origin. At this moment, the Fijian people need the urgent support and solidarity of all democratic organisations — the trade union and labour movements and community organisations. The coup leaders and the Great Council of Chiefs, who have capitulated in the face of thuggery and terrorism, must now feel the full weight of international condemnation and isolation. We call upon the Australian Government to abandon any policy of delay or appeasement and: a. demand that all hostages be released immediately and unharmed; b. suspend diplomatic relations until the deposed government is fully restored; c. suspend all tourist traffic; d. suspend all other forms of trade other than aid and medical programs; e. suspend all military training and supply of military equipment; f. urgently refer the issue to the Commonwealth of Nations with the recommendation that other Commonwealth countries adopt similar policies; g. support moves by the UN to help restore the elected democratic government of Fiji. We support appropriate action by the Australian trade union and labour movements and solidarity from the Australian people to support the Fijian Labour Party government led by Mahendra Chaudry which won an overwhelming vote in last year's election. Any failure to act decisively now, to bring an end to the Fijian terrorist and bandit coup, will not only result in continued instability in Fiji and long-term suffering for the Fijian people, but will encourage similar grabs for sectional power in other countries in the region.