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Opinion, Opinion

EDITORIAL-Where Is Our Community Spirit And Civic Pride?

EDITORIAL-Where Is Our Community Spirit And Civic Pride?
Police Commissioner, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho
July 14
10:52 2017

The community or communal spirit is one of our strengths as a nation. We excel when we do things together. We help one another and stand by each other other in times of needs especially during natural disasters and personal tragedies. It’s what makes us unique and tick as a nation of rich diversity of culture and religion.

It produces this spirit of patriotism and civic pride, a quintessential part of our Fijian way of life.

The Police Commissioner, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho, every now and then, presents certificates of recognition for bravery to citizens who risk their lives to save others, apprehend offenders and prevent crime. Then there are many others who supply information to Police to help them in their investigations.

This is a crucial partnership between the people and our law enforcement officers in the battle against crime.

It therefore came a shock when we heard that an elderly couple were robbed in broad daylight at a Lautoka Street and no one in the vicinity went to their rescue. The alleged offender snatched a chain and pendant from Nirmala Lal, 72, in full view of people on the street. Husband Surendra Lal, 73, chased the man but lost him. He looked around and his heart sank because no one else helped them.

Everyone on that street that day who saw the incident and was capable of helping, but didn’t do anything, should hang their heads in shame.

This is unFijian and it projects a wrong image that we do not care about what happens to our neighbours and we condone crime. This should have been wonderful occasion where civic pride was prominently showcased – where the alleged offender was stopped, apprehended and handed over to the Police.

It would have sent a strong signal to would-be offenders that we do not condone crime and the targeting of elderly and the vulnerable by criminal elements.

We can only hope that in this case, Police will arrest the person responsible soon. To be able to do this, they would need the help of the public, especially those who were present near the crime scene. Any information is important.

To the Lals, our sympathy is with them and we wish them speedy recovery from the emotional trauma.This is a wakeup call for everyone. It is time we show our civic pride in the true community spirit. Who knows, the next victim could be a loved one, if we fail to step up.


Where are the facts?

The Speaker, Dr Jiko Luveni, yesterday reminded MPs to only speak about facts in Parliament in the Budget debate.

Her reminder is important because many people are watching the live telecast on the debate.

They may think that everything they  hear is factual. We know  some of the things said in Parliament are not true. Some statements are perceptions only. Others are distortions and misinformation. They are bereft of facts.

This is unacceptable and the MPs owe it to the people to tell them the truth and empower them.




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