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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec. 6) – Adi Lagamu Vuiyasawa said her close relationship with the turaga na Qaranivalu [Fiji paramount chief], Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, was not the basis of her appointment to [the Fiji] Senate.

Adi Lagamu made the comments after her swearing-in yesterday.

She said her appointment to the Senate stemmed from the fact that she hails from the Naitasiri province.

[PIR editor’s note: Naitasiri province is located in the eastern region of Viti Levu island, just north of Rewa province, which is where the capital city of Suva is situated.]

Ratu Inoke was also from the same province.

"It's just that my case is one of those exceptional cases," she said. "I just want to make a point that we do not have a de facto relationship; we are partners, he's a divorcee and I am a widow," she said.

Adi Lagamu was appointed last month by the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to replace Ratu Inoke who was jailed for the 2000 mutiny at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Suva.

Many Opposition Members of Parliament had questioned her appointment.

"It's part of politics my being here as a government appointed senator that's the prerogative of the Prime Minister and also there are certain guidelines one follows before being appointed," Adi Lagamu said.

She said she looks forward to her time in Senate and hoped to serve the nation as well as she could.

Adi Lagamu is from Nairukuruku Village from the tikina of Matailobau in the Naitasiri province.

December 7, 2005

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