25 Jun 2004

Fiji government upset about Mara obituary in Economist

1:54 pm on 25 June 2004

The Fiji Government is fuming over an obituary in British weekly magazine The Economist on the late Ratu Sir Kamasese Mara, which it believes includes derogatory remarks.

Fiji's information minister, Simione Kaitani, says the Government is seeking legal advice over the article published on April 24th.

Mr Kaitani says a sentence in the obituary demeans a leader who was highly revered in the Pacific and is degrading and offensive.

He says it reads.

"As a paramount chief he would be greeted with applause not only when he arrived in villages, but also when he belched or farted."

Mr Kaitani says the obituary was brought to his attention recently by a senior foreign journalist who wishes to remain anonymous.

He says Ratu Mara's family are expected to be told about it today.