24 Jan 2009

Fiji's interim foreign affairs secretary has been suspended

1:04 pm on 24 January 2009

Fiji's interim foreign affairs secretary, Ratu Isoa Gavidi has been suspended, two days after he was chosen to represent Commodore Frank Bainimarama at the Pacific leaders' special meeting in Papua New Guinea

Fiji Live onlines says the interim Government has yet to issue an official statement on Ratu Isoa's suspension.

But the online news service says it is highly likely that his comment on national television on Thursday was a contributing factor.

Ratu Isoa told FijiTV: "he wished the Commodore could go to the Pacific Islands Forum Special Meeting, but he has made his decision not to go".

Ratu Isoa may have breached the civil service code of conduct by commenting on a political matter.

Public Service Commission permanent secretary, Taina Tagicakibau, told Fijilive that Ratu Isoa's suspension was due to certain Foreign Affairs policy directions.

She said Ratu Isoa's recent public comments "may have been" a factor too.

She also confirmed that Ratu Isoa has indicated his decision to resign from his permanent secretary's post, a position he held for about four months.

She says this incident should send a clear message to all civil servants that they must comply with the interim Government's mandate.