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Analysis: Nawaikula’s statement on media shows his true colour

Analysis: Nawaikula’s statement on media shows his true colour
SODELPA Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula.
July 31
13:03 2018

Niko Nawaikula is showing his true colours when he says that a new SODELPA Government will prosecute the Fiji Sun and similar media companies and freeze their assets.

The Suva lawyer and SODELPA MP was responding to a column by Fiji Sun Managing Editor News Jyoti Pratibha that SODELPA needs to clarify its policies on TELS and the retirement age.

He claimed that Ms Pratibha and the Fiji Sun were asking the question “loudly to be sure whether they will be spared the rod on any such policies should SODELPA win the election.”

Ms Pratibha had asked a legitimate question and instead of answering the question Mr Nawaikula goes on a diatribe.

It shows his vindictiveness against the media who are doing their job by asking pertinent questions.

Mr Nawaikula purports to champion media freedom, but on the very next breath he spits out venom.

He talks about punishing the media and seizing assets. These are draconian measures and they smack of fascist tendencies.

He makes a sad and poor attempt to define what media freedom is. In fact, he displays his lack of understanding of media freedom. His definition of media freedom is seriously flawed, contradictory and dangerous. He talks about abuse of media responsibility, but he fails to cite specific examples.

This is a politician who is being touted as the Attorney-General designate if SODELPA forms the new Government.

He stands up in Parliament and tells the nation that it is okay to lie.

He denies making a statement, but is found out by Hansard in Parliament.

He is one of the lawyers whose names appear on the Independent Legal Services Commission Discipline Register.

The Discipline Register has been tabulated in accordance with the statutory requirements prescribed under Section 126 (2) of the Legal Practitioners Act 2009.

On April 12, 2013, he was found guilty of professional misconduct, publicly reprimanded and fined $2000 under the Legal Practitioners Act 2009, Sections 53 and 83 (1)(a).

On February 16, 2015,  he pleaded guilty to professional misconduct under the Legal Practitioners Act 2009, Sections 83 (1)(g) and 108 (2). He was publicly reprimanded, his practising certificate was suspended for one month and he was fined $1000.

In the same spirit that Ms Pratibha asked her question, is Mr Nawaikula’s media statement a SODELPA policy?

If that’s the case then it could have far reaching consequences on the media as a whole, the democratic process and the economy. It will scare investors and jeopardise economic activities.

What Mr Nawaikula is proposing is reminiscent of totalitarian regimes.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines totalitarianism as a  form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state.

The Fijian media enjoys media freedom because the local media is able to report a diversity of views. It shows that we have a robust media environment. Today we have reproduced Mr Nawaikula’s statement and we have responded to it.

If he is allowed to have his way, he will put a stop to all of this.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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