4 Oct 2004

Fiji government rejects allegations of political ploy behind national reconciliation

4:24 pm on 4 October 2004

The Fiji government is rejecting allegations that this week's ceremony is a ploy to mitigate the sentences of those charged in connection with the coup.

The minister for information, Simione Kaitani, says the accusations from the Fiji Labour party don't take into account the fact that all people in the country were victims of the 2000 coup.

And, he says the decision by cabinet to set aside the week for national reconciliation was taken last November, prior to the sentencing of the vice-president, Ratu Jope Seniloli.

"We remain committed to the process of law and this particular programme - cabinet has agreed that it will not, will not in any way affect those who should go through the normal process of investigation and even to appear before the court."

Mr Kaitani says the government decided it was necessary for there to be national reconciliation although individuals and communities have already held their own.