31 Aug 2006

More criticism of latest Fiji diplomatic posting

9:29 am on 31 August 2006

The man whose appointment as Fiji's next high commissioner to Malaysia has generated fierce criticism says it is vilification at it worst.

Ratu Epeli Kanaimawi's appointment has come under criticism from the military and coup convicts Josaia Waqabaca and Maciu Navakasuasua who say he was involved in the May 2000 coup.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says Ratu Epeli's involvement in the coup is common knowledge and the army is willing to pass it on to the police if requested.

The coup convict now living in Australia, Mr Navakasuasua, revealed that George Speight had considered Ratu Epeli as a candidate for prime minister in his failed administration.

Mr Waqabaca said Malaysia was becoming the hiding place for chiefs involved in the May 2000 coup.

But Ratu Epeli has told the Daily Post newspaper that recent public utterances against himself, the Great Council of Chiefs, the former high commissioner Adi Samanunu Talakuli Cakobau and Malaysia as a country are slanderous and highly denigrating.

Ratu Epeli says his involvement in the 2000 coup was as the chairman of a committee appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs to negotiate the release of hostages.

He has called on the media to be more responsible in its coverage of news if it is to assist in shaping the correct public view of events and people.