NEW DELHI, India, May 22, Reuter: Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has called on key Commonwealth Prime Ministers to work together for the restoration of constitutional rule in Fiji.

In messages to Bob Hawke of Australia, David Lange of New Zealand and Margaret Thatcher of Britain, he wrote that restoring Fiji’s 1970 constitution was “efforts in which we will all have to work together persevere to bring back normalcy (in Fiji)” an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.

Nearly half Fiji’s population is of Indian origin and India fears their rights will be threatened by constitutional changes proposed by the leaders of a coup eight days ago in the South Pacific nation.

The 1970 constitution contains clauses aimed at maintaining racial harmony between the ethnic groups in Fiji, and India took a keen interest in its drafting. The planned revisions would keep ethnic Indians in a permanent minority in Parliament.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 29, 1987