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Letters To The Editor, 9th May, 2017

Letters To The Editor, 9th May, 2017
May 09
11:03 2017

Dakuvula view

Jone Dakuvula,
Suva

I refer to the Parliamentary Privileges Bill that is currently being scrutinised by political parties, civil society organisations and other concerned groups and individuals.

Most commentators regard it as a Bill to deter criticisms of Parliamentary Members with criminal penalties.

Our news media, either because of fear of the criminal penalties in the Media Industry Development Decree and other Decrees, or because of financial rewards, either indulge in self-censorship or omission of news that might be critical of government performance.

The media play safe and the public is deprived.

The Parliamentary Privileges Bill will be another restriction on freedom of expression to be feared. This is the latest threat to media freedom in Fiji. It seems the Fiji Sun has already succumbed to this threat by not having any reports at all about the Bill in the last eight days. I have not seen any such reports or Editorial comments.

Mr Delaibatiki, who regards himself as a champion of freedom of expression and the media, has not published any critical comments.  His latest ‘My Say’ column on media freedom (FS 08/05/2017) says “Journalists must be allowed to work in an environment that is free without fear of intimidation”. But he avoids any comment about the Parliamentary Privileges Bill whose effect would illustrate his point.

The Fiji Sun was quite willing to be mischievous in publishing a confidential list of applications to be SODELPA candidates in the name of freedom of the media but is strangely silent on the criticisms made at Committee reviewing the Parliamentary Privileges Bill. Were there any Fiji Sun reporters at the Parliamentary hearing?

Editor’s note: Mr Dakuvula is, as always, entitled to his views. We note he has now regained his voice after becoming an NGO activist. We hope he will same time start reading the Fiji Sun closer before commenting on it.

 

 

Equality

Tomu Dobui,
USP

As a first year student at the University of the South Pacific, I am so concerned with the institute of why apartheid is shown at the university.

I urge the University of the South Pacific board members to look at this issue. When I say apartheid or discrimination this is not by gender, race or etc. This is when we have different amenities such as computer labs, areas or even washrooms from the Post Graduate students. I mean, all in all we’re students. Why do we have to be separated from others?

Since number of students are increasing every year computer labs are not enough so that is why we need to use post graduate labs or when students try to seat in areas of post graduate they were chase out by staff saying that areas are for post graduate students only.

I believe if all areas at the University of the South Pacific are open for all students, all of them will be treated fairly and enjoy while studying in school. We’ll feel like we are all the same.

I urge the University of the South Pacific to stand up and look at this matter and create an equal environment for all.

 

 

Driver behaviour

Narayan Reddy,
Lautoka

Most drivers have forgotten the meaning of road courtesy.

Most people blame the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and highway Police, but I believe most of the time the drivers are at fault.

Looks like most drivers are in such a rush that they forget there are other road users.

 

 

Municipal development

Sukha Singh,
Labasa

Minister Parveen Bala should be praised for his latest Aquatic Centre project in Lautoka.

Labasa Town Council also made a swimming pool in Labasa for the ratepayers and non-rate payers for an approximate sum of half a million dollars. Before the council approved this project they must have worked out how to pay it off.

I would like to ask Mr Bala the Minister for Local Government if he was aware that the council gave the pool on rent for a $1000 a year for a period of 20 years.

The reason I am bringing up this issue is only because I think the council is making us, the ratepayers, pay for this development by increasing our rates by a massive 37 per cent.

I also refer to Mr Bala’s comments on TV where he said that a handful of people were saying that “Bala is going to sell Lautoka”. So I would like to ask him, why did the Labasa Town council give away the Labasa Jaycees Park?

Anyway, please, re-look into the town rates. A 37 per cent increase in town rates is too much!

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May 2017
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