Forum Chair Expresses Serious Concern over Death Threats Received by Australian High Commissioner to Fiji.

The current Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr. Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele, has expressed his serious concern about the two anonymous death threats made on the life of the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, HE Mr. James Batley and his staff.

Dr. Sevele said: "I am extremely concerned about the death threats made on the life of the High Commissioner and his staff. On behalf of the Forum Leaders I call on the interim Government in Fiji to quickly and effectively address these threats to the inviolability of diplomatic staff and premises."

The Forum Chair also said that he wished to thank the Fiji Police for their speedy response to the report from the Australian High Commission after the first threat was received and for providing extra security for the High Commission.

The Forum Chair concluded: "The Forum member countries are doing their best to help Fiji hold parliamentary elections in March 2009. Death threats on the lives of people who are helping that process help no one at all."