Foreign Ministry closely monitoring developments in Fiji

In a social media post, Bainimarama said reports of “violence targeted at Indo-Fijian homes and businesses” as “deeply disturbing”…reports Asian Lite News

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that India is closely monitoring the situation in Fiji after the Pacific island nation’s police called in the military to help maintain security following last week’s election which resulted in a hung parliament.

“Our High Commission there is keeping a close eye on the developments. We have not issued any advisory,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly press briefing. “We are in touch with our local mission there,” he added. After last week’s election, a new coalition government was expected to lead to the end of rule by former coup leader and former prime minister Frank Bainimarama which saw the incumbent government lose its majority, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.

The report said Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party has not conceded defeat. Meanwhile, a coalition of three parties is said to have a combined majority and agreed on a leader as prime minister.

On Thursday, the Fiji Police force said the decision to call in the military was in response to threats made against “minority groups”.

This decision was reached after a meeting between PM Bainimarama and other top Defence officials who emphasized the need to maintain law and order.

“It’s a consensus decision based on official reports received, intelligence and information gathered and the evaluation of the current security landscape where minority groups continue to be targeted and information of planned civil unrest received,” the police statement added.

In a social media post, Bainimarama said reports of “violence targeted at Indo-Fijian homes and businesses” as “deeply disturbing”.

“These attacks — which are no doubt fuelled by racist vitriol on social media — must end,” he was quoted as saying by ABC. “The [military] has been deployed to complement the police in maintaining law and order. If you see violence being committed, report it!”

Meanwhile, opposition parties have disputed reports from the police.

Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are part of India’s engagement with the East. Under Act East Policy, the Indian government has stepped up its efforts to engage with countries in this region, according to MEA.

The landmark initiative, the Forum for India-Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC), was launched under the Act East Policy rubric by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the first FIPIC summit held in Suva, Fiji in November 2014.

The second edition was held in Jaipur in August 2015. (ANI)

ALSO READ-With Fiji, India set to expand its South Pacific footprint


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *