8 Feb 2006

Indonesia's ambassador in Suva criticises Daily Post over cartoons

11:20 am on 8 February 2006

Indonesia has joined the debate that has erupted in Fiji over the Daily Post newspaper's publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which have sparked Muslim outrage and violence around the world.

The Indonesian ambassador in Suva, Franciscus Bambang Guritno, has called on the Daily Post to refrain from publishing or republishing materials which he says should be protested because of their defamatory character.

Mr Guritno says the Daily Post should cooperate in efforts to combat religious defamation .

Muslim organisations in Fiji have called for the resignation or sacking of the Daily Post's editor.

Fiji's National Federation and Labour parties have also denounced publication of the cartoons while the prime minister has called on the media to show more responsibility and not insult religious sensibilities.

The Fiji military has expressed concern that publication of the cartoons in Fiji could threaten the security of Fijian troops serving in the Middle East.

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, has called on newspapers to be mindful of the ramifications of their actions.