1 May 2002

Fiji's ambassador to Japan to leave public service

2:35 pm on 1 May 2002

Fiji's ambassador to Japan, Rishi Ram, is reported to be leaving the public service after being forced to return home early to allow a former politician to take up the post.

Ratu Tevita Momoedonu is to be the new ambassador.

Ratu Tevita twice agreed to become prime minister for a few minutes at a time after the coup so he could recommend the dissolution of parliament and legitimise the post-coup administration.

Senior government officials say Mr Ram's decision to return without awaiting the outcome of his appeal to remain in Japan, could be linked to the possibility that the government could withdraw his accreditation as ambassador.

The officials say instead of taking up a new posting in the civil service, Mr Ram will go straight on pre-retirement leave on his return.