Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ex Fiji VP, Ratu Joni, declines national council invite

28 JAN 2008
Fiji high chief and former vice-president Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi declined to join the National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF) when approached early last year.

Ratu Joni told Fiji’s national television that while he was approached to co-chair the NCBBF, but declined.

John Samy, one of the men involved in the designing of the Peoples Charter, told television’ Close Up programme that he was invited by interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry to Fiji in March last year.

He said the proposed charter was the subject of their discussion.

He said he had consultations with some locals including Ratu Joni, Professor Vijay Naidu, Rajesh Chandra of the University of Fiji, Reverend Akuila Yabaki and Jone Dakuvula.

Yabaki now sits on the council and Dakuvula is involved with the council’s secretariat.

While the rest were unable to confirm being approached, Ratu Joni said he was approached back in March and asked to give it a thought after which he declined to join the NCBBF.

The former ruling party, Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua stated it was now clear the proposed charter had been Chaudhry’s initiative.

SDL national director Peceli Kinivuwai said the SDL remains opposed to the charter and that Samy’s revelation had strengthened this position.

Questions sent to Chaudhry remain unanswered.

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