Fiji Coup Supplement
Ministry of Information, Suva)
29 August, 2000
INFORMATION MINISTER DEFENDS KOTOBALAVU
The Information Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has come out in defence of Permanent Secretary in the Prime Ministerıs Office, Jioji Kotobalavu stating that Kotobalavu is an efficient and competent professional who has been simply doing his job.
Responding to a statement from the Confederation of Public Sector Unions criticising Mr Kotobalavu from certain statements that he reportedly made on behalf of the interim administration, the Information Minister said that it must be remembered that public servants serve the government of the day.
He added that "it is amazing that a statement seemingly seen to have the endorsement of all members of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, has quickly come out accusing an official like the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Ministerıs Office of playing politics."
"Where were those officials of the union who sent out yesterdayıs statement, when some Indo-Fijian public servants were playing politics on behalf of Mahendra Chaudhry when he was Prime Minister?" asked the Information Minister said.
"Why didnıt they tell PM Chaudhry to leave the public servants alone for the sake of containing the public service as impartial and integral?"
The Information Minister added that Dr Tupeni Baba should know better then to comment on a Fijian public servant such as Kotobalavu.
"Perhaps, Tupeni Baba may want to inform all Fijian public servants of what he did for them when he was Deputy Prime Minister in the Chaudhry Govt?."
"He may want to explain to them that he was not the minister-in-charge when two senior Fijian public servants were moved from the Foreign Affairs Ministry for baseless reasons during Chaudhryıs reign."