by Josh Jerga - The Age, Melbourne May 24, 2009 - 4:49PM
Sydney's Fiji community has marched through the city calling for the removal of Frank Bainimarama's military regime and the restoration of democracy in their homeland.
More than 150 people took part in the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement march, many donning black arm bands to mourn the death of democracy in the Pacific Island nation.
Children held signs demanding "no more coup" and "out with the military", while the march urged the Australia government to take a tougher stance against the regime.
One woman sent an ominous message to the military leader, warning "Frank, God's watching, you're going get it (sic)".
Fiji-born New Zealand businessman Ballu Khan, the man once accused of masterminding in a assassination plot against Bainimarama, joined in the protest action.
He said the popular holiday destination had turned into dictatorship where mistrust had spread among its citizens.
"The nasty thing about (the) Fijian community, it's very hard to trust anybody," Mr Khan told AAP .
"It's become like Nazi Germany, neighbours dobbing neighbours for favours from the military regime.
Last month, Bainimarama abolished the constitution, sacked the judiciary and suspended elections to restore the democracy overturned in the 2006 coup until 2014.
Fiji-born Australian citizen Saki Niu pleaded for the federal government to help oust the military regime.
"We want to tell the government, please, help us, help your neighbour. Do something," he told AAP.
"Just get him out, that's all. If they don't use force, we use a civil demonstration like this. Just get him out. It's been too long."
Mr Nui, 40, whose family still live in Fiji, said fear has gripped the island nation.
"There's no democracy there, everybody is in fear over there," he said.
"They don't have any voice, they can't do anything now. They stay in a community where they can't say anything about the community.
"They fear saying anything because we don't know what's behind their house, who's there, who's part of the regime, who's not?"
Fiji was suspended from the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum earlier in May.
The European Commission last week withdrew aid worth 24 million euros ($A42.56 million) to help restructure Fiji's struggling sugar industry.
Mr Khan believes the Australian government needs to do more in trying to bring about change in Fiji, saying the Fijian people can tolerate any sanctions imposed.
"The (Australia) government here has to take a tougher stance," he said.
"I think they've got to up the ante now into economic sanctions against Fiji.
"They've been reticent at doing that thinking they don't want to be blamed for any further hardship on the people.
"But the people of Fiji are resilient. It's short term pain for long term gain otherwise this is going to go on for a very long time."