10 Jul 2007

Indo-Fijian academic draws fires for calling interim government ministers opportunistic

3:21 pm on 10 July 2007

A group in Fiji which describes itself as the Think Tank for Pro-Interim Government Supporters is demanding an apology from the Australia-based academic, Dr Brij Lal.

At the weekend Dr Brij Lal described interim ministers Mahendra Chaudhry, Poseci Bune and Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau as opportunistic and compromised people who should not be in the interim administration.

The Daily Post reports that the think tank has deplored Dr Lal's attack on Ms Rounds-Ganilau and the others and is now demanding an apology from Dr Lal.

Its spokesman, Fred Caine, says Ms Rounds-Ganilau's name was put forward for the interim administration by the minorities group which she represented in the last parliament to ensure that their voice was heard.

Mr Caine says she was never appointed on patronage and she did not volunteer, but was unanimously endorsed by the minorities who voted for her in the last election.