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Indonesia accused of meddling in Fiji affairs
Tabloid JUBI - March 3, 2014
United Front for a Democratic Fiji accused Indonesian Ambassador Aidil Chandra Salim of having offered support to Commodore Bainimarama to be reelected prime minister in the upcoming elections.
"In media interviews, the Indonesian Ambassador showed they were behind the offer of support to Commodore Bainimarama to become Fiji's prime minister," Mick Beddoes, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji's spokesman, told Jubi on Monday night (3/3).
He further said that the government of Indonesia also gave half a million dollars to the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) in exchange for betraying the sub-regional group's commitment towards the West Papuan people.
The Indonesian embassy in Fiji has denied the accusations, which have been voiced by pro-West Papuan groups in the Pacific. They say a visit by an Indonesian delegation consisting of local and central government officials next week was part of support for Bainimarama.
"The visit is only an alibi because the main objective is to support Bainimarama's campaign to win the upcoming election. The Indonesian ambassador in Fiji has announced it. The opposition in Fiji has accused the Indonesian government of intervening in Fiji's internal politics, even bribing the Bainimarama's people," Andi Ayamiseba, the representative of West Papua National Coalition for Liberation said in Vanuatu on Monday (3/3).
While the media in Fiji said the visit was aimed at strengthening the relationship between the MSG member countries and the Republic of Indonesia. It was said the mission was also in line with the last meeting results of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of MSG to Indonesia in January.
The delegation is planning to participate in a public lecture to create the awareness and generate a dialogue on the autonomy and development in both provinces of Papua and West Papua, Indonesia.
The mission was planned after Vanuatu announced it would hold an international symposium on West Papua as an alternative solution towards the failure of a fact-finding mission conducted by the MSG foreign ministers.(Jubi/Victor Mambor/rom)