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Removal shocks Kumar

REIJELI KIKAU and ERNEST HEATLEY
Saturday, January 05, 2008

FORMER interim Agriculture Minister Jainendra Kumar was summoned to army headquarters and told of his exclusion from Cabinet at 2pm yesterday.

Mr Kumar said prior to that he had no inkling that his time as a member of the interim administration was over.

"I was told to head to the military Berkeley Crescent office and the military council and (interim) Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama made the announcements to the ministers," he said.

Mr Kumar said he was happy to have served in the interim administration since last year.

Former interim Tourism Minister Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau said she was not aware of being dropped from Cabinet until she was told yesterday afternoon before Mr Bainimarama made the announcement at a press conference.

"I have done what needs to be done for Fiji and undertook everything and legislation has been put in place," she said.

Meanwhile, former Fiji Institute of Technology director Kolineo Meo welcomed the Cabinet reshuffle saying Netani Sukanaivalu's transfer from the Ministry of Education was "the best news I have heard this new year".

Mr Meo said he was now anticipating a meeting with former Cabinet minister Filipe Bole, who had replaced Mr Sukanaivalu.

"He (Mr Bole) is someone who would listen to people like me," Mr Meo said.

"I'll be the first one to walk up to him to give him some advice."

Mr Meo said interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama "must be thanked for making a very good decision, even if it up until the next elections".

He said Mr Sukanaivalu had achieved little in the period that he ran the education ministry.

"To be very frank the ministry was going down the drain under his leadership. The biggest blow to education in he country was received at tertiary level."


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