Combustible Fiji


The website of Fiji's Constitutional Commission

The website of Fiji’s Constitution Commission

The hand-picked Chairman of Fiji’s Constitution Commission, Kenyan-born barrister Yash Ghai, fell foul of Fiji’s military government for printing 600 copies of the country’s newly-completed draft constitution. These were confiscated and set on fire in front of him by police before the ink had dried.

While the Australian Government focused on the positives, praising the creation of the document as ‘another step along the path towards Fiji’s return to democracy,’ the response of Samoa’s outspoken Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele to the incident was scathing. The New Zealand Herald’s more measured take was that the incident proved that

‘The regime’s sincerity [about a return to democracy] has now, however, morphed into a determination to continue to have its way whatever the will of the Fijian people.’

The military regime has since announced it intends to redraft the constitution.

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