FIJI WORRIES ABOUT AMERICAN SAMOA RESTRICTIONS

SUVA, Fiji (fijivillage.com/PINA, Jan. 1) - American Samoa’s new immigration law scrutinizing residents from Fiji has been questioned by the Fiji Visitors Bureau.

In continuing criticism of the American Samoan Government’s anti-terrorism move, Fiji Visitors Bureau chief executive Bill Gavoka expressed worries about the repercussions for tourism.

"We are a cosmopolitan country and diversity is our strength, which makes us a very attractive country to visit. The danger is in generalization against an ethnic community."

Fiji’s inclusion in the American Samoan restrictions is believed to be because Fiji has a Muslim community.

Few people from Fiji visit American Samoa, apart from business people and people working on fishing boats. But there are worries in Fiji about the impact the listing will have on Fiji's image as a friendly tourism destination.

People from 23 countries on the list must get prior permission from American Samoan before traveling to the territory.

American Samoa had at first banned all people of Middle Eastern descent. It changed this to a list of countries after heavy criticism in Washington and a court challenge.

January 2, 2003

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