22 Apr 2003

Fiji tensions continue to frustrate reconciliation and peace initiatives

4:37 pm on 22 April 2003

An umbrella group of aid organisations in Fiji says reconciliation and peace building remains difficult while tensions exist between the country's leaders.

The deposed Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, Mahendra Chaudhry has this week suggested a government of National Unity.

But the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has already said that he does not favour the notion of a multi party Cabinet.

The Executive Director of Fiji's Council of Social Services, Hassan Khan, wants a Reconciliation Commission to be formed outside the political arena:

"It becomes very difficult for us to promote reconciliation strongly when we find that the reconciliation ministry is under the wings of the Prime Minister and he is not on talking terms with the leader of the Labour Party, and that does not augur well for the rest of us ...If the example is set at the top level, it becomes easy."

The Executive Director of Fiji's Council of Social Services, Hassan Khan,