21 Feb 2006

Fiji government won't sack newspaper editor over controversial cartoons

9:14 am on 21 February 2006

The Fiji government says the general manager of the Daily Post newspaper, Mesake Koroi, will not be sacked over the publication of the controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed which caused a furore.

The issue was raised in parliament by the deputy Labour Party leader, Poseci Bune, who asked whether Mr Koroi was not sacked because he was a cousin of the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase.

Mr Bune wanted to know what steps would be taken to prevent a recurrence of what he called such religious disrespect.

The government is a substantial shareholder in the Daily Post.

The information minister, Marieta Rigamoto, said the government deplored what she called the trivialisation of such sensitive religious matters in the public arena but was not interested in firing anyone.

She said Mr Qarase had already made public his discontent and had called on the media to exercise restraint.