News Round Up

Pacific Beat Program for 4 May 2009
Civil Society groups worried about suspension
Civil society groups in Fiji are concerned the Pacific Islands Forum suspension will end communication between their country, and the region.
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New Zealand’s Maori politicians say they will intervene

New Zealands Maori Party is considering sending a delegation to Fiji to speak with interim-Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.
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Fiji says suspension will have little impact
On Friday May the first, midnight Suva time, Fiji became the first member nation of the Pacific Islands’ Forum to be suspended.
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Fiji’s suspension from the Forum will impact other nations
While the interim regime is confident it will not be to badly affected there are concerns the suspension will affect other nations, in particular other Forum member nations.
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SUVA (RNZI Online /Pacific Media Watch): An academic from the University of the South Pacific says Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum could hurt its small neighbours more than Fiji itself.

Dr Steven Ratuva, political sociologist of USP’s Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance, says he has spoken with people from the interim government who believe the suspension will have minimal impact on Fiji.

But he says its growing isolation from the rest of the Pacific will hurt small countries in the region that depend on it.

“What’s going to happen is that regional cooperation as we knew it for a long time since 1972 is going to go through a significant and substantial shift. And the shift is going to affect mostly the small island states like Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tonga [which] rely significantly on Fiji for economic survival.”

Dr Ratuva says the suspension will see Fiji fall more under the influence of China, while Australia and New Zealand will lead the other powerblock in the region.

God bless Fiji


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