21 Aug 2002

Fiji's Prime Minister says Mahendra Chaudhry has cancelled

1:34 pm on 21 August 2002

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has again cancelled informal "talanoa" talks planned for this weekend.

The prime minister says this shows that Mr Chaudhry and his party are not interested in working with the government to bring about an early solution to the country's land lease problems.

But Mr Chaudhry says no such talks were planned.

He says he informed the convenor of the talks in a letter dated August 8th that no talks could take place this weekend because the Labour Party had scheduled a national council meeting.

He also says he is not prepared to talk when his community is being insulted in racist statements by senior government ministers.