[Marxism] Australia, Fiji, Tonga

Alan Bradley alanb1000 at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 6 00:41:19 MST 2006

The Australian government's response to coup in Fiji
is rather amusing given their response to the recent
riots in Tonga.

AUSTRALIA refused a plea for military help from Fiji's
prime minister before he was ousted last night in the
Pacific island nation's fourth coup in 20 years.

Laisenia Qarase, pictured, who was sacked as prime
minister as Fiji's military chief Frank Bainimarama
seized control, earlier phoned Australian Prime
Minister John Howard from his home in Suva, appealing
for assistance.

Mr Howard rejected the plea, declaring it was not in
Australia's national interest to become involved in
the political crisis. 
"The possibility of Australian and Fijian troops
firing on each other in the streets of Suva was not a
prospect that I for a moment thought desirable," he
told reporters.

AUSTRALIAN troops and police landed in riot-torn Tonga
last night as part of a New Zealand-led Anzac force
sent to help quell unrest that has claimed eight lives
in the Pacific island kingdom.

The first task of the 50 Australian troops and 60 New
Zealand soldiers who also landed last night was to
secure the international airport, allowing the
resumption of flights cancelled since pro-democracy
riots erupted on Thursday.


The rioting, the most serious challenge ever to
Tonga's semi-feudal monarchy, is the latest outbreak
of violence in the Pacific, adding another dimension
to the so-called "arc of instability" stretching from
Fiji to the Solomons, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.

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