Fiji’s military leader has declared a state of emergency after suspending parliament and sending the prime minister home. The moves, coming a day after a bloodless coup, have left the island nation’s institutions in a state of disarray. One Fijian Senator said everyone was simply waiting. Lavinia Wainiqolo Padarath, Fijian Senator: “This is why I say it is a sad day for Fiji, nobody wants it. But then we’ll just have to wait and see. Nobody has the power right now, but the military, to do anything. We’ll see what takes place next”.
Laisenia Qarase, Fiji’s Prime Minister has been flown home to a remote island in the north. In his absence what is left of his cabinet discuss what to do next. They have little idea. On the streets of the capital of Suva soldiers are everywhere. They have orders to keep a tight lid on things including foreign journalists who they order to hand over their camera tapes.
It is the fourth coup for Fiji in two decades. Each has severely disrupted the island economy which is heavily dependent on sugar and tourism, and this is no different. The normally packed hotels, bars and pools are empty, the visitors gone, and tourist flights cancelled.