NEWS | WORLD

Suva Outraged by Australia

uva is outraged by Australia for warning its citizens about ‘potential unrest’ in the capital city in the lead-up to the September 17 general election. The Australian Department of Foreign
14 Aug 2014 07:34

uva is outraged by Australia for warning its citizens about ‘potential unrest’ in the capital city in the lead-up to the September 17 general election.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has named Fiji in its latest travel advisory list that includes Syria, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

It advised Australians planning travel to Fiji to “exercise a high degree of caution” because of the “prevalence of crime and potential for unrest. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor about possible new safety and security risks.”

The Australian warning comes amid an increase in old-style race-based campaigning by the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).

SODELPA is polling poorly against the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s FijiFirst party which is emphasising equal citizenry and a Fiji free of past racial tension.

Australia’s biggest selling newspaper, Melbourne’s Herald Sun, published a report headlined: “Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issues travel warning on Fiji capital Suva ahead of September elections.”

• Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, said he was disappointed that the advisory did not reflect the situation on the ground. He assured all Australians that all was well in the capital and there should be no reason to worry.

• Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF), Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga said those who gave this advice to the Australian Government should be ashamed of themselves. The same advice was given years ago but nothing happened. He questioned the source of the department’s information. “We at the RFMF assure all Fijians and visitors that Suva as well other centres in Fiji are safe at all times,” he said.

• Suva Retailers Association, Himmat Lodhia, said: “It’s such a shame. The Australian High Commission is here in Suva, they should come down and see what is really happening. The elections in Fiji are generally peaceful and this is no different.”

• Suva City Council chief executive officer, Bijay Chand, said he was not aware of any adverse reports but expressed confidence in the security forces.

• The Fiji Employers Federation chief executive officer, Nesbitt Hazelman, said, ‘‘Suva is safe, it is business as usual. We welcome tourists and police are in control and there is no cause for concern,’’ he said.

An Australian High Commission spokesperson in Suva said: “Australia’s travel advice, available through the Smartraveller website, provides a general assessment of the security environment facing Australian travellers overseas.”

Feedback: newsroom@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: