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COUNTRY PROFILES


PROFILE

Country facts

Area: 18,333 sq km (11,385 sq miles)
Population: 849,000 (Fiji National Census of Population 2009)
Capital city: Suva
Main ethnic groups: Fijian, Indian, European, other Pacific Islanders and Chinese
Languages: English (official), numerous Fijian dialects, Hindi
Main religions: Christian, Hindu and Muslim
Currency: Fiji dollar (FJD)
Major political parties at last elections: Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (United Fijian Party) (SDL), Fiji Labour Party (FLP), United Peoples' Party (UPP), National Federation Party (NFP).
Government: Fiji is currently under the administration of a military-led Interim Government. Fiji is without a Parliament or a constitution and is under rule by Presidential decree.
Acting President: Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
Interim Prime Minister: Commodore Voreqe 'Frank' Bainimarama (Bainimarama is also the Military Commander, and the Interim Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics; Minister for Public Service, People’s Charter for Change and Progress; Minister for Information, National Archives and Library Services, Minister for I-Taukei, Provincial Development and Multi-Ethnic Affairs; Minister for Sugar and Acting Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources. He is also the Chairman of the Native Lands Trust Board.
Interim Foreign Minister: Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
Membership of international groups/organisations: Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Colombo Plan, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Group of 77 at the United Nations (G77), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, (ICFTU), International Development Association, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCS), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat), Interpol, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), International Standards for Organisation (ISO) (subscriber), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations (UN), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Universal Postal Union (UPU), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Fiji is currently suspended from the Commonwealth (since 01 September 2009) and the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) since 02 May 2009.

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HEALTH

Fiji's health system compares relatively well with other Pacific Island nations. Primary health care involves the provision of primary medical treatment, preventative medicine and health education. About 95% of the primary medical care is provided by doctors in government hospitals, health centres and nursing stations throughout the country. They are complemented by general practitioners in private practice in most urban centres. The hospitals, health centres and nursing stations provide outpatient medical treatment, antenatal and postnatal care, family planning and development and screening of children. Divisional hospitals provide screening for cancer of the breast and cervix, immunisation, clinical laboratory facilities, health education and dental care. Psychiatric care is provided in a separate institution. All school children are medically examined at regular intervals by school health teams. The public is encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyles to ensure their well being and to learn proper use of health services through media, publications, audio visuals and counselling. Nutrition, a major determinant of health is being addressed by the Food and Nutrition Committee established by government to encourage the public to adopt better and healthier eating habits. The top five causes of death are related to circulatory conditions, endocrine, disorders like diabetes, cancers, respiratory problems and injuries. Diabetes is a devastating disease in Fiji and estimates reveal that one in every 8 people is affected in some way.

The government continues to push for improved curative services. The focus has been on the quality of treatment provided, staffing, upgrading of existing facilities and the provision of equipment and technologies to meet current demands. There are a total of around 307 doctors in the public service providing inpatient and ambulatory care. The private hospital system is also emerging an alternative means of medical care provision. Government continues to acknowledge and encourage the private sector which supplements the efforts of the Ministry of Health. There is also a private hospital located in Suva.

A valid Yellow Fever certificate is required by all travellers over one year old who have been in an infected area prior to arrival in Fiji.

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ECONOMY

Basic economic facts

Nominal GDP (2010): USD3,173 milion
GDP Per Capita (2010): US$3565Major industries: Tourism, sugar, mineral water, gold, fish, garments, timber
Major trading partners: Australia, New Zealand, USA, United Kingdom, Singapore, China
Exchange rate: £1 = F$2.79 (March 2012)
Fiji’s economy expanded by about 2% in 2011 following several years of very low growth. Political uncertainty and slow structural reforms have suppressed potential growth. This slow growth pace overshadows all other economic concerns, Urban poverty has declined but rural poverty remains high. In 2010 while developing Asia roared ahead at 9.5% growth, Fiji contracted by .25%, worse than other Pacific Islands. Structural reforms are key to boosting growth and sustainability. While growth is expected to improve, it seems unlikely to exceed 2% unless structural reforms are accelerated. The 2012 budget has proposed much needed fiscal consolidation, though marginal income tax reductions will make it difficult to achieve deficit targets. Presently agriculture contributes largely to the economy with sugarcane production rising sharply. Moving to a significantly higher level of potential growth would require an improved business and political climate and a more aggressive structural reform effort. New mining and other projects are on the horizon but are yet to be confirmed and this will take time to produce results. Disruptions in the world financial markets are expected to have little direct impact on Fiji’s financial system but a global downturn could slow growth to some extent, especially through declines in tourism, remittances and foreign direct investment. Inflation rose to around 10% for several months in early 2011, driven by imported food and fuel prices as well as increases in the VAT, various administered prices and an electricity tariff rate restructuring. In January 2012, inflation fell to 5.9 percent from 7.7 percent in December 2011 due to the fading of one-off price increases and easing commodity prices. Flooding in January 2012 are expected to impact inflation outcomes for next few months through higher prices for agricultural market items. Year-end inflation forecast remains at 3.5 percent. Foreign reserves as at 29 February were around $1,497.2 million, sufficient to cover 4.7 months of retained imports of goods and services.

Aid and Development

Fiji receives development assistance from the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, though some of this aid has been curtailed or suspended following the 2006 military coup and the April 2009 abrogation of the Constitution. China is also a major contributor of development assistance and provider of soft loans.

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HISTORY

Longer Historical Perspective

According to Fijian legend, the great chief Lutunasobasoba led his people across the seas to the new land of Fiji. Respected authorities have discredited the long-held academic theory that indigenous Fijians are descended from South American peoples. Rather, it is now accepted that Fijians are the descendants of different groups of early voyagers.

Initially, the area was peopled by groups from South East Asia, travelling to Papua and the Solomon Islands, via Indonesia. This group mingled with later arrivals from the Australasian continent, creating the Melanesian peoples. A later group, the Lapita, succeeded in travelling east of the Solomon Islands and established the Polynesian culture. In time, the Melanesians also travelled east and came to dominate much of the western South Pacific, including the Fiji islands. Today's indigenous Fijians are the descendants of these early travellers, with their strong Melanesian traits influenced also by their Polynesian ancestry. The highly developed societies that evolved in Fiji were discovered accidentally by later European voyagers, the first of which was the Dutch Explorer, Abel Tasman in 1643. Several English navigators also visited the group, including Captain James Cook who sailed through in 1774, and explored further in the 19th century. Major credit for the detailed charting of many of the islands went to Captain William Bligh during his epic 6,000km journey to Timor after the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789.

The first Europeans to land and live among the Fijians were shipwrecked sailors and runaway convicts from the Australian penal settlements. Sandalwood traders and missionaries began arriving in the early 19th century. Cannibalism, practised in Fiji at that time, gradually disappeared as missionaries gained influence. In 1874 a Fijian Chief, Ratu Seru Cakobau, the self-styled 'King of Fiji, together with other senior chiefs, ceded Fiji voluntarily to Queen Victoria, and Fiji became a British colony. From 1879 to 1916 Indians were brought to Fiji by the colonial authorities as indentured labourers ('Geirmits') to work on the sugar plantations. This marked the start of an era of important economic and social change in Fiji. After the indenture system was abolished in 1920, many Indians stayed on as independent farmers and businessmen.

BBC News Country Timeline: Fiji (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia-pacific/newsid_1300000/1300499.stm)

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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Relations with Neighbours

Fiji was an active member of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) up until its suspension on 02 May 2009. The PIF Secretariat is based in Suva, as are most of the specialist regional organisations and regional offices of several international organisations (UNDP, ILO, ICRC, etc).

On 27 January 2009 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders agreed to the imposition of 'targeted measures' against Fiji unless it nominated an election date by 1 May 2009 and held an election by the end of December 2009. Following the current government's failure to meet the PIF Leaders' requirements, and in light of the abrogation of the constitution, dismissal of the judiciary and curtailment of press freedom, the PIF decided - on 2 May 2009 - to suspend Fiji with immediate effect. Fiji’s suspension marked the first time a country has been suspended from the PIF since it was created in 1971.

Fiji became the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in December 2010 which is an inter-governmental organisation composed of the four Melanesian countries (Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands), and has led to a MSG Trade Agreement. Fiji hosted the last MSG meeting in March 2011 with observers from New Caledonia, Indonesia and East Timor. Fiji will chair the next MSG meeting between 19-31 March 2012.

Relations with the International Community

Fiji is a member of the UN, and supplies troops to take part in peacekeeping operations world-wide (including Iraq and Sinai). Fiji is a member of the ACP (Africa, Caribbean & Pacific) grouping. Fiji is currently a suspended member of the Commonwealth, effective from 01 September 2009. Fiji is also seeking observer status to the Non Aligned Movement.

Relations with the UK

The UK is working to promote Fiji's early return to full democracy and compliance with international standards of good governance, human rights and the rule of law. A range of projects are funded through the High Commission in support of these aims, alongside projects supporting environment and climate change. No assistance is given to the Interim Government.

UK Military Assistance

Approximately 2,100 Fiji nationals serve in the British Army. A smaller number of Fiji civilians also serve in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. All military assistance to Fiji (such as the training of Fiji Army cadets at Sandhurst or limited participation of the Fiji military in other programmes) ceased following the 2006 take-over.

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GEOGRAPHY

Fiji lies in the heart of the Pacific Ocean midway between the Equator and New Zealand. Fiji comprises approximately 330 islands, of which about one-third are inhabited. The country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers about 1.3 million square kilometres of the South Pacific Ocean. The two main islands, accounting for 87% of the total landmass, are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Other sizeable islands are Taveuni, Kadavu, Ovalau, Gau and Koro. 87.9% of the land is owned by indigenous Fijians. (3.9% is owned by the State. 7.9% is freehold and 0.3% is Rotuman land). Only 16% of the landmass is suitable for agriculture. This is found mainly along the coastal plains, river deltas, and valleys. Fiji’s only cities are Suva (the capital) and Lautoka. Both are located on the island of Viti Levu. The town of Labasa is the main urban and administrative centre on Vanua Levu. Of the total population of 827,900 (unofficial 2007 Census), 57.3% are Indigenous Fijians, 37.6% are Indian Fijian ('Indo-Fijian') and 5.1% are of other races.

Climate

Fiji enjoys a tropical South Sea maritime climate without great extremes of heat or cold. The islands lie in an area that is occasionally traversed by tropical cyclones, which occur between the months of November to April. The temperature averages 28 degrees Celsius for the cooler months (May to October) while from November to April temperatures are 2-4 degrees higher with heavy downpours. Fiji's flora and fauna are relatively few in number but are of exceptional scientific interest because of the higher proportion of endemic forms.

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TRADE AND INVESTMENT

Trade and Investment with the UK

The UK's Tate & Lyle sugar refiners are major purchasers of unrefined sugar from Fiji. Other important British or part-British companies established in the market include Cable and Wireless, Vodafone, British American Tobacco and Vatukoula gold mine.

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POLITICS

1987 Coup

Fiji achieved independence as a Realm within the Commonwealth on 10 October 1970 and enjoyed political stability until the election of April 1987 when Fiji's first Indo-Fijian dominated coalition was elected. A group of nationalists, the Taukei, reacted to the election by stirring up indigenous concerns of impending Indian domination. A month of violent protests resulted in a bloodless military coup on 14 May, led by Lieutenant Colonel (later Major General) Sitiveni Rabuka. After further nationalist discontent, Rabuka staged a second coupon 25 September 1987, revoked the existing Constitution (of 1970) and declared Fiji a republic. As a result, in October 1987, Fiji left the Commonwealth. The position taken by Commonwealth leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Vancouver in 1987 was that Fiji’s adoption of republican status in October meant that its Commonwealth membership had 'lapsed'. Fiji was readmitted to the Commonwealth in October 1997 following the introduction of a new Constitution which brought Fiji back in line with Commonwealth principles.

Rabuka made a formal apology to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II for his role in the coup; with a second apology being issued on 01 January 2012.

Major General Rabuka was appointed Prime Minister in the 1992 election held under a new Constitution (1990). The 1990 Constitution was replaced in 1997. The 1997 Constitution guaranteed indigenous Fijian dominance in the most senior government and administrative positions, but also called for a review of Fiji's constitutional arrangements before mid-1997. The Constitutional Review Commission was established in 1995 under the chairmanship of Sir Paul Reeves, a former Governor General of New Zealand. The Reeves' Commission recommendations were considered by a multi-party Joint Parliamentary Select Committee (JPSC), which, in April 1997, reached agreement on a number of core issues, including the principle of a multi-racial Cabinet. The agreed recommendations came into effect as constitutional amendments on 27 July 1998, creating a newly named 'Republic of the Fiji Islands'. Elections under the new Constitution, held in May 1999, produced a surprise landslide victory for a coalition dominated by the, predominantly Indo-Fijian, Fiji Labour Party (FLP). The FLP's leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, became Fiji's first Indo-Fijian Prime Minister.

2000 Coup

On 19 May 2000, an armed group invaded Parliament and held hostage Mahendra Chaudhry, most of his Cabinet, and a number of MPs. The group was supported by rebel soldiers and led by George Speight, son of an Opposition MP and member of the same Taukei group that inspired the 1987 coups. A wave of rioting and looting by Speight supporters followed and, after several abortive attempts to negotiate the release of the hostages, Chaudhry's government was dissolved on 28 May. The next day, the commander of Fiji's military, Commodore Frank Bainimarama declared martial law. After the President stepped aside, he abrogated the 1997 constitution. On 6 June Fiji was suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth (exclusion from all meetings and bodies of the Commonwealth, rather than a full expulsion. Fiji was readmitted in December 2001).

The hostage crisis ended on 13 July 2000, when coup leader George Speight released the hostages in return for a number of concessions. (After being initially granted an amnesty from prosecution, Speight was convicted of treason on 18 February 2002 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He remains imprisoned).

On 28 July 2000 the military transferred power to a non-elected interim administration led by Laisenia Qarase, an ex-banker. Qarase, in turn appointed a Cabinet and other Ministers. On 15 November 2000, Qarase's government remained in place in a caretaker capacity until elections in August 2001. The electorate voted mainly along ethnic lines, and Qarase's newly formed Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party won 31 of the 71 parliamentary seats. The FLP, again led by Mahendra Chaudhry, won 27 seats. Although constitutionally required to offer Cabinet positions to the FLP, after much legal wrangling the FLP decided to forego Cabinet positions in preference of its formal establishment as the Opposition.

2005 was dominated by the SDL government's attempt to introduce three pieces of controversial legislation: the Native Lands Bill, the Customary Fisheries Bill and, most contentiously, 'The Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill' (the 'RTU Bill'). The RTU Bill generated considerable criticism and opposition from many sections of society, and led to increased friction between the Government and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. This friction continued into 2006, when Qarase announced that the October 2006 general election would be brought forward to May. The SDL secured 38 parliamentary seats in the election, with the FLP coalition securing 33. Qarase again offered Cabinet positions to the FLP. This time, however, the FLP accepted. Its coalition partner, the United People's Party (which secured two parliamentary seats) withdrew from the FLP coalition in order to sit as the Opposition. President Iloilo opened Parliament on 6 June 2006, urging Fiji's first multi-party Cabinet to co-operate for the benefit of the nation. (The Cabinet was mandated to operate on consensus, so co-operation was critical to its success.) Discord remained between the government and the military, not least as the Commander Bainimarama believed the Qarase government had failed to meet the promises on which he had first established them in the aftermath of the coup of 2000. However, the election of a multi-party Cabinet appeared to lessen tensions with the Commander promising to give the government a chance to prove itself.

2006 Military Coup

By September 2006, Bainimarama's patience with the Qarase government was wearing thin.

With increasing Military/government tensions, in October 2006, Bainimarama called for the government to either withdraw all controversial legislation or resign. Bainimarama delivered to Qarase a list of six demands; Bainimarama promised that the government's failure to deliver would result in a military-led 'Clean-Up Campaign'. Qarase attempted to negotiate, with no success. On 29 November, New Zealand Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, brokered talks in Wellington between Qarase and Bainimarama. During the talks, Qarase made substantial concessions to Bainimarama's demands. Bainimarama later denied the read-out given to the public by Qarase, though Qarase's account was swiftly and fully confirmed by the New Zealand Government. On 5 December 2006, Bainimarama launched a swift and peaceful take-over of government. Military road-blocks were erected in the major towns and cities and Qarase, after a brief house arrest, was forced to leave Viti Levu. On 8 December, Fiji was once again suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth.

The six months after the take-over, saw the sacking of key public figures. Bainimarama pronounced himself President for a short while, before reinstating President Iloilo. In April 2007, the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) refused to accept Bainimarama's chosen nomination for the role of Vice-President. Bainimarama suspended the GCC. Military figures were appointed to government ministries, the Chief Justice was dismissed and an Acting Chief Justice appointed (outside the scope of the Constitution). Numerous accounts of human rights abuses were detailed by those taken to the barracks for questioning into statements they were known, or alleged, to have made. Newspaper staff were detained and intimidated, resulting in self-censorship by the press. Human rights activists were (largely) silenced.

In April 2007, the EU met in Brussels with the Interim Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Attorney General to discuss the return to democracy, the rule of law and the release of EU assistance to Fiji. This resulted in a series of Commitments that the Interim Government must meet if the EU was to consider a resumption of financial and technical assistance to Fiji. Key to the commitments was that the Interim Government would hold a democratic election by March 2009.

On 31 May 2007, the Interim Government lifted the Public Emergency Regulations that had been in place (in different forms) since the take-over. This removed from it the authority to take extraordinary measures to ensure public security (including the right to detain those it suspected of 'incitement'). In doing so, the Interim Government met one of its commitments to the EU. (The regulations were imposed again in September 2007, but were again lifted within the timeframe promised by the Interim Prime Minister.)

In late October 2008, the Interim Prime Minister invited all political parties in Fiji to a political forum with a view to draw up unified terms of reference for a UN/Commonwealth Secretariat Political Dialogue proposed for December 2008. All invited political parties attended, but the second meeting (8 April 2009) excluded key political partners.

On 9 April 2009, the Fiji Court of Appeal ruled that the removal of Prime Minister Qarase and the appointment of Fiji's interim regime following the military coup in 2006 was unlawful. It advised the President to appoint an independent caretaker Prime Minister, to dissolve parliament and call elections. PM Bainimarama announced his resignation with immediate effect.

On 01 September 2009 Fiji was fully suspended from membership of the Commonwealth for failing to meet its commitment to CMAG by 01 September 2009.

For more detailed information refer to:
http://www.thecommonwealth.org/press/31555/34582/213087/010909.htm (http://www.thecommonwealth.org/press/31555/34582/213087/010909.htm) .

On 10 April 2009, President Josefa Iloilo abrogated the Constitution, dismissed the judiciary and reinstated the interim Prime Minister and Cabinet as the new government. The Government put in place Public Emergency Regulations for a 30 day period (which remained in place until 07 January 2012). These restrictions prohibited all public gatherings, including political or media related meetings, unless sanctioned by a government permit. The government also imposed media censorship and the media was restricted from reporting negatively on the government.

Following the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution in April 2009, Bainimarama announced a Roadmap for Fiji on 01 July 2009. The Roadmap sets out a timetable for elections due to take place in September 2014. Foreign Minister Kubuabola, speaking at an ACP Meeting in Budapest in May 2011, confirmed that the interim government will focus on institutional and socio-economic reforms until 2012, the formulation of a new constitution in 2013, and an election in 2014.

Recent political developments

The Public Emergency regulations were lifted in 07 January, alongside a commitment from the interim Prime Minister Bainimarama to commence a constitutional dialogue in February 2012. Critics argue that the effect of lifting the Public Emergency Regulations is minimal owing to a strengthening of the Public Order Act on 05 January 2012 which continues to restrict public gatherings, and private meetings without permits. Although media censors were removed from newsrooms in January 2012, censorship continues owing to the Media Industries Development Decree. Some industries are face restrictions under the Essential National Industries Decree. Arbitrary detention of human rights activists, journalists and trade unionists continued in 2011 with over a dozen alleging physical mistreatment whilst in military custody in February/March 2011.

As at 07 March 2012, a constitutional dialogue has not yet commenced although the interim Prime Minister Bainimarama reiterated his commitment to this process on 15 February 2012 (and explained the delay due to a State of Emergency caused by severe flooding in February 2012).

The United Kingdom, alongside international partners and the UN, is working to assist the interim government to establish a new constitution by September 2013 and to hold free and fair, democratic elections by 2014,

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HUMAN RIGHTS

Human Rights abuses became particularly problematic in the months following the 05 December 2006 military coup - see Amnesty International Report (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/repression-fiji-–-international-donors-urged-act-2009) . Freedom of expression, including by the media, was curtailed. An unknown number of civilians were taken to the barracks for questioning owing to (stated or alleged) comments on thecoup . Many alleged poor treatment, ranging from being forced to undertake humiliating exercises to physical abuse. Sexual intimidation and threats were also alleged. A number of prominent figures were later photographed with evidence of physical mistreatment. The UK, alongside other international partners, took an immediate and firm stance deploring the abuses. The UK has continued to speak out against human rights violations, including three deaths in military and police custody in 2007. Allegations of further violations were made by some trade union leaders during the public sector strikes of July and August 2007. In October 2007, those arrested in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate the Interim Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Interim Attorney General complained of abuse while in detention – and appeared in public with signs of beatings.

The Fiji Human Rights Commission, established under the 1997 Constitution, is the only national Human Rights Commission in the Pacific region. Its mandate is to protect and promote human rights in Fiji. However, the Commission is no longer compliant with the UN Paris Principles on national human rights institutions as they take instructions directly from the interim government and have no Commissioners since their appointments were terminated following the abrogation of the Constitution in April 2009.

Race relations in Fiji are generally harmonious, but the ethnic Fijian and ethnic Indian communities live largely separate lives. There were many reports of violence and discrimination against ethnic Indians in the wake of the 1987 coup and the hostage crisis in May 2000. No racial violence occurred after the 2006 military take-over.

Recent Developments

There has been little improvement to the human rights situation in Fiji in 2011. The interim government continued to rule through presidential decree and Fiji remains without a parliament or a Constitution since its abrogation in 2009. The development of new legislation lies exclusively in the hands of the interim government thereby lacking transparency and accountability. Decrees are passed without public debate or discussion, including the Essential National Industries Decree promulgated in June 2011. This Decree, alongside the Media Industries Development Decree and the Public Order (Amendment) Decree, greatly restricts the human rights of the people of Fiji. Of particular concern are limitations on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, arbitrary detention and media censorship.

In 2011, Fiji made little progress against the 97 recommendations accepted following the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2010. Fiji also demonstrated little progress towards commitments agreed with the EU under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, including commitments on the respect for democratic principles, human rights and the independence of the judiciary. As a result, Fiji remains suspended from the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum.

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Last Updated: March 2012

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