26 Aug 2002

Fiji minister crticised for linking satanic forces to rise in poverty

2:36 pm on 26 August 2002

Fiji's minister of women, Adi Asenaca Caucau, has come under strong criticism for claiming that satanic forces could be contributing to the rise in poverty.

The Daily Post reports the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre has described Ms Caucau's claim as laughable.

Its coordinator, Shameema Ali, says poverty is the result of poor governance and poor accountability on the part of successive governments.

Ms Ali says public money has been wasted instead of being spent on education, poverty alleviation and similar goals.

She says the minister seems to be talking about satanic forces to cover up the real issues from the people.

Two weeks ago in parliament, Ms Caucau likened Indo-Fijians to wild grass, then refused to apologise, saying her statement was truthful as she had a right to make it because she was the daughter of an indigenous chief.