29 Jul 2004

Fiji information minister offers apology to ousted council chairman

11:09 am on 29 July 2004

Fiji's information minister has offered a written apology to the ousted chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, for comments attributed to him in a newspaper last week.

Fiji TV reports that the Daily Post newspaper had quoted Simione Kaitani as saying that Ratu Epeli's ejection was a "pay back" for his criticisms of government policies.

Mr Kaitani was quoted as saying that Ratu Epeli was "reaping the fruits of what he had planted."

Mr Kaitani has now told Fiji TV a week later that the Post misrepresented him in its report which he has described as "irresponsible."

The government-owned newspaper says it stands by its report.

Mr Kaitani had earlier told Fiji TV that Ratu Epeli should resign as chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs because he had "deliberately been on a campaign trail against the government."