FIJI BILL PROPOSES WEAPONS INDUSTRY

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, June 13) - The Fiji Labor Party
is against provisions of a government bill proposal, which would allow the
licensed manufacture of arms and ammunition in the country.

The provision is part of the Arms and Ammunition Bill currently
under debate in the House of Representatives.

Labor Member of Parliament Perumal Mupnar has told the House
Fiji is not ready to manufacture arms and ammunition because there is no control
over law and order.

Mupnar said such provisions would not be conducive to political
and social stability in Fiji and could lead the country down the same path of
armed conflict as Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Another Labor member of parliament, Gaffar Ahmed, said the
weapons used in the 1987 and 2000 coups, the November 2000 army mutiny and in
most armed robberies, are state-owned weapons from the military armory.

Ahmed said access to weapons is often with the complicity or
open support of the military.

He noted that the assault on parliament in the May 2000 coup
could not have been carried out without weapons taken from the military armory.

June 13, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/ 

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