15 May 2002

Former Fiji ambassador accuses government of racial appointments

7:45 am on 15 May 2002

A former top Fiji public servant and diplomat has criticised some recent diplomatic appointments as ethnic cleansing.

Radio Fiji says the charge has been levelled by a former ambassador to the United Nations and onetime head of the public service, Poseci Bune, who is now a Labour member of parliament.

Mr Bune says appointments are politically motivated.

He says this is evident in the recall of two Indo-Fijians serving at overseas missions.

"One particular area the PSC chairman needs to address is the current ethnic cleansing being carried out with impunity by the government with respect to the recall of Indo-Fijian heads of missions from their overseas posts. I refer of course to the proposed replacement of our present ambassador in Japan, Rishi Ram, by defeated interim cabinet minister, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu, and ambassador Amraiya Naidu in New York by ailing police commissioner, Isikia Savua."

Mr Bune says it seems overseas missions have become safe havens for failed SDL candidates and supporters of the coup.