FIJI ARMY COMMANDER RATU EPELI SAYS NO TO DIPLOMATIC OFFERS

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 12, 1999 - Fiji Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Fiji’s Army Commander, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, has rejected several diplomatic offers made to him by senior Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei (SVT) officials, including a cabinet minister, the Daily Post reports.

Ratu Epeli was approached six times by SVT (Prime Minister Rabuka’s party) officials in the past year.

The last offer was made last month amid reports that he was joining the Methodist-backed Veitokani ni Lewe ni vanua Vakarisito.

However, SVT President and Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has denied the offers were made under his directive.

"If there is any diplomatic offer it would have come from me," Mr. Rabuka said.

Ratu Epeli, who will officially resign on January 29 as army chief, was offered the high commissioner’s position in the United Kingdom and the post of permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

It is understood that Ratu Epeli refused the offers "as he had no intention of being associated with an inconsistent government."

Title -- 1856 POLITICS: Fiji military chief rejects diplomatic offers Date -- 12 January 1999 Byline -- None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Fiji's Daily Post, 12/1/99 Copyright – DP Status – Unabridged

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