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Thursday, 13 July, 2000, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Analysis: Fiji's long road to recovery
Chaudhry/granddaughter Sonia
Mahendra Chaudhry reunited with his granddaughter Sonia
By East Asia reporter Clare Arthurs

The release of the hostages in Fiji has been greeted with jubilation, but as deposed Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry said on his release, there is much to be done to get Fiji back on its feet.

It is a sentiment echoed by Fiji's larger neighbours, New Zealand and Australia, which have been at the forefront of external pressure on Fiji to return to democracy.

There are practical measures which will now have to be addressed to resolve the political crisis of the past two months.

The release of the hostages was a precondition for the selection of the new president and the new government by the Great Council of Chiefs.

Fijian beach
The crisis dealt a heavy blow to Fiji's tourist industry
The military is still in control and martial law has not yet been lifted - and will not be until power is handed to the new administration.

The deposed ethnic-Indian Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, is out of government and it is not clear what his new role will be.

Out, too, is Fiji's multi-racial constitution - much to the dismay of many in and outside Fiji.

These are the key demands of the rebels led by George Speight, who have also achieved their goal of amnesty from prosecution for their armed rebellion.

Mr Chaudhry says he has already forgiven Mr Speight.

Ethnic tension

But other ethnic Indians will be less relaxed, fearing continued violence and intimidation. Many are considering leaving the country.

There is further trouble on the islands, too. Indigenous demand for greater land rights is fuelling unrest, and in recent days Fijians have seized a number of tourist resorts.

Tourism and other sectors of Fiji's economy have been hit hard by the crisis and will take time to recover, even if other nations agree to resume trade and other contacts.

The coup has outraged members of the international community, including Australia and India, who are concerned at the trampling of democracy and human rights.

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See also:

13 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Fiji hostage crisis over
12 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Fiji hostages tell of ordeal
04 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Tall order for Fiji's new PM
07 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Speight's hold over Fiji
19 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Ethnic split haunts Fijian politics
05 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Speight's demands
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