19 Nov 2010

Fiji regime mum about rift prompting Ganilau resignation

2:31 pm on 19 November 2010

The Fiji interim government refuses to shed light on the tensions surrounding the US company Fiji Water that prompted this week's surprise resignation of the acting prime minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau.

Ratu Epeli, who was the interim immigration minister, says it is pity that the American executive, David Roth, left Fiji yesterday under circumstances that remain unclear.

The permanent secretary for information, Sharon Smith-Johns, says she doesn't know if Mr Roth was deported.

Speaking to FBC News, she says no official statement can be expected from her office any time soon, but the overseas media is free to speculate.

She says as far as she is concerned, the only official statement will come from government.

Fiji Water has also declined to comment.

Ratu Epeli has been replaced in all portfolios by Joketani Cokanasiga who has told Fijivillage that Mr Roth was requested to leave Fiji and describing his departure last night as a matter between Mr Roth and the head of the interim government.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, who flew to China's Zhejiang province last week, has told the Fiji Sun that he will issue a public statement about Ratu Epeli's resignation once he returns to Fiji next week.