14 Mar 2005

Fiji NGO head says Minister must resign after televised shouting match with squatter

2:38 pm on 14 March 2005

A prominent special justice NGO in Fiji has called for the immediate resignation of the assistant minister for housing and squatter resettlement, Jioji Banuve.

The call from the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy follows last week's televised incident in which Mr Banuve was seen engaged in a shouting match with a frightened squatter family living in flimsy shack.

The Daily Post quotes the NGO's director, Aisake Casimira, as saying Mr Banuve's behaviour was "shameful, unprofessional and unbecoming of a minister."

Mr Casimira says it was "strong-arm and intimidating tactics by the government on a marginalised and disadvantaged group of people."

Mr Casimira says "this is an unjust and uncompassionate approach," adding that whatever programmes the government has in place are either discriminatory or ineffective.