Professor Lal was concerned the agenda for the President's Political Dialogue Forum, agreed to by political leaders, excluded discussion on the role of the military. WHY WERE THE OTHER POLITICAL LEADERS SO SCARED TO VOICE THE PEOPLE'S CONCERN?
"This is a glaring omission because unless the role of the military is publicly discussed, there can be no assurance of democratic rule in Fiji. I know it is a sensitive subject, but ignoring it will not address the fundamental problems in Fiji," said Professor Lal.
"The Commonwealth and the United Nations will not sully their reputations by getting involved in a sullied process. The Commonwealth communiqué is clear: it wants the dialogue process to be open, transparent and unprejudiced about the final outcome. They will not come in to endorse a pre-arranged agenda," he said.
"That is true, but the involvement of the international community is absolutely vital when the atmosphere for full and free discussion in Fiji is compromised with threats and arbitrary searches of the news media. Any coerced solution will simply not work, and international standards will have to be observed," Prof Lal warned.