8 May 2002

More criticism of Fiji government's new ambassador to Japan

10:18 am on 8 May 2002

The Fiji government is under sharp criticism for appointing the man called the five minute prime minister, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu, to be the next ambassador to Japan.

The chief, who was a minister in the post coup interim administration, has been questioned by police for setting up a roadblock near Lautoka last year.

The Fiji Times quotes the spokesperson for the SVT party, Ema Druavesi, as saying Ratu Tevita should not be allowed to leave the country until police have cleared him.

Mrs Druavesi says his appointment should be revoked so police can complete their investigations.

The leader of the United General Party, Mick Beddoes, says diplomats must be free of wrongdoing because they are the face of Fiji outside.

Mr Beddoes says the credibility of diplomats would determine to some extent the level of support Fiji would receive from the country where they are based.

The Fiji Labour Party is asking the president to uphold the dignity of the country and its laws by holding back Ratu Tevita's appointment until the police have cleared him.

Fiji's current ambassador in Japan, Rishi Ram, is having his three year term cut short to make way for Ratu Tevita.