17 Oct 2002

Fiji women's minister says criticism is unfair

6:10 pm on 17 October 2002

Fiji's minister of Womens Affairs and Social Welfare, Adi Asenaca Caucau, says she is being unfairly attacked by the local media.

Adi Asenaca says she has frequently been misquoted by Fiji newspapers and her comments are often taken out of context.

This week the Womens Crisis Centre called for a better representative, when she was quoted as saying the death of a baby following a domestic incident was a result of the parents living in sin.

The minister has also been criticised for referring to Indo-Fijians as weeds in parliament and blaming poverty on satanic forces.

But Adi Asenaca says she was misquoted this week and she has written to the Media Council to complain about journalism standards in Fiji.

Ms Asenaca says she has made herself an easy target.

"It's probably because I'm a straight shooter and also I tell people where they belong and on issues I don't just go at the symptoms. I go right down to the roots and I want issues to be discussed publicly."

Meanwhile Adi Asenaca says it would not proper to comment on a auditor-general report which said her department had not followed proper procedures when adminstrating funds, until the Public Accounts Committee has met.

The Committee has not met this year because of controversy over its chair..