15 Sep 2010

Samoa queries reporting of Tui Atua's Fiji visit

3:17 pm on 15 September 2010

Questions surround the circumstances of a meeting in Suva between the Fiji interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and Samoa's head of state, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi.

The Samoan government has issued a statement, accusing the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation of misrepresentation in reporting the meeting.

The FBC says Samoa's head of state made a courtesy call as he was in Suva for the graduation ceremony at the University of the South Pacific.

The Samoan government says the Fiji interim government asked the USP to facilitate the meeting.

The USP Vice Chancellor Rajesh Chandra says while he cannot comment on who instigated the meeting, the university had told the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the visit.

"Any Head of State that visits the university for graduation, the protocol is that we let the Fiji Government know and the Fiji Government is asked to provide protocol and transportation. And this was done in the case of His Highness."

USP Vice Chancellor Rajesh Chandra.