EX-FIJI MINISTER DUBIOUS OF REGIME’S WILLINGNESS TO DIALOGUE

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‘Saving their neck’ more important than the country

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 21, 2009) – A member of Fiji’s ousted SDL government says he has no confidence in the interim regime making serious attempts at starting a dialogue to solve the current political crisis.

Ted Young is in Canberra for the Centre For Democratic Institutions’ annual discourse on political parties in democracies.

It’s Mr. Young’s first trip outside Fiji since the 2006 military coup.

He says given the close scrutiny of the SDL by Fiji’s military, particularly under the emergency regulations, he was lucky to have made it out.

The SDL is prevented from meeting and Mr Young doesn’t expect they’d be allowed to have a say any time soon.

"Like all dictators, once they’ve tasted power they become addicted to it and they’ll try and hold on to it as long as they can. Also, in Fiji’s case, we’ve reached the stage where saving their neck is more important than the wellbeing of the rest of the country," said Young. "As long as their necks are safe and their cronies are taken care of, they’re fine to operate that way... even if the country slides down."

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