ATTORNEY GENERAL BACKS FIJI "BLUE DAY" WARNING

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By Mithleshni Gurdayal

SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 10, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post/Pasifik Nius)---Civil servants who wear blue to participate in the "Fiji's Blue" campaign today are actually protesting against the military-installed interim administration, Attorney General Alipate Qetaki said yesterday, the Daily Post reports.

These civil servants would be breaching the Public Service Code of Conduct by doing so, he said.

The Public Service Commission had earlier warned civil servants not to take part.

The Blue Day campaign has been organized by non-government organizations, trade unions and other interested corporate groups to allow people to silently express their stand on the return of peace and democracy in the country.

"The 'Fiji's Blue' campaign is against the [Prime Minister Laisenia] Qarase administration and those taking part in this campaign are going against the government of the day," Qetaki said.

"This group is calling for the return of the 1997 constitution and the restoration of the Mahendra Chaudhry administration and I reiterate that all those who are a party to this group are going against us – the interim administration."

Qetaki said that civil servants worked for the government of the day had a set of guidelines to follow.

"If any civil servant really wants to wear blue tomorrow then he or she can wear blue underwear, which will not be noticeable," Qetaki said.

"But please no blue to support this anti-interim administration move."

Meanwhile, the two teachers unions asked their members to wear any color they wanted to.

Fijian Teachers Association general secretary Maika Namudu said his members could wear blue, red or any color they wanted to.

"There is no law in the country that stops people from wearing any color on a particular day," Namudu said.

"Fiji Teachers Union general secretary Agni Deo Singh said that no government could stop its people from wearing a particular color.

"I am asking my members to wear blue tomorrow if they want to. They have a right to wear any color they want to."

Title -- 3027 FIJI: Attorney-general backs 'blue day' warning Date -- 10 October 2000 Byline -- Mithleshni Gurdayal Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- PN/Daily Post, 10/10/00 Copyright -- PN/DP Status -- Unabridged

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