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Jakarta Post

Indonesia steps in to fill the Fiji vacuum

  • Duncan Graham


Suva   /   Tue, September 29 2009   /  11:03 am

No entry: Fiji’s parliament building is locked up, a powerful symbol of the state of democracy in the small island nation. JP/Duncan GrahamOne of the saddest sights in Suva, the capital of the tiny nation of Fiji, is the Parliament building.
It’s reputed to be a splendid example of Pacific Island architecture representing traditional Fiji values.But this can’t be confirmed: The gates are locked and rusting, and weeds are pushing through the driveway. Three years ago, Fiji went through yet another coup and the power of the ballot box yielded to the rule of the gun.There have been four coups in the past 22 years but this didn’t stop Indonesia opening an embassy in this troubled former British colony.It was a smart move. As the Commonwealth and European Union punished Fiji for overthrowing democracy, other countries have filled the gap.“Indonesia’s interests in the Pacific Is...