14 Jun 2002

Fiji public servants rebuff criticism from the Prime Minister

3:30 pm on 14 June 2002

The Fiji Public Servants Association has accused the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, of hiding behind the facade of sovereignty.

It follows Mr Qarase's attack on the FPSA this week for its call for overseas intervention in the recent dispute with the state owned Aiports Fiji Ltd.

He called for a spirit of patriotism and loyalty to Fiji, adding that the country needs to be protected against the misguided who seek to damage its economy and undermine its sovereignty.

But the secretary of the FPSA, Rajeshwar Singh, says Mr Qarase is neither the first nor the last of leaders attempting to hide behind the facade of sovereignty whenever international intervention becomes necessary.

Mr Singh says no right thinking citizen would disagree with the prime minister's call for a spirit of patriotism and loyalty and putting Fiji first.

But he says many would take exception to remarks that the call for international support was the work of misguided individuals who sought to damage Fiji's economy and sovereignty.

Mr Singh says it is the politicians who need to place the interests of the country ahead of their personal egos and self-interest, and begin to serve the nation in the spirit that it deserves.