Letters To The Editor, January 2, 2015

No Clue Dr Sushil K. Sharma Lautoka A writer in this column under the title of “Unfair Letters” (Amenatave Yaconisau FS 31/12/14) continues in his efforts to try to muzzle
02 Jan 2015 13:01

No Clue
Dr Sushil K. Sharma

A writer in this column under the title of “Unfair Letters” (Amenatave Yaconisau FS 31/12/14) continues in his efforts to try to muzzle up Fijians criticism of opposition politicians, using persistent threats that the views expressed are contrary to the 2013 Fiji Constitution’s Section 17(3)(d).

Section 17(3)(d) reads : “To the extent that it is necessary, a law may limit, or may authorise the limitation of, the rights and freedoms mentioned in subsection (1) in the interests of—(d) preventing attacks on the dignity of individuals, groups of individuals or respected offices or institutions in a manner likely to promote ill will between ethnic or religious groups or the oppression of, or discrimination against, any person or group of persons.

The writer has no clue as to what he is talking about when he cites the above section; reading partially the clause. He has to read the entire text in context of its meaning to understand the law.

This section deals with intent to have limitations in a manner that will ensure that we do not have ill will between ethnic or religious groups, or that there is no oppression or discrimination against any person or group of persons.

He further suggests that Fijians should not be the judge of good or bad performance of Opposition politicians. This despite these figures being elected by the Fijian people and earning a salary from the hard earned tax dollars of the citizens.

He suggests that the parliamentary standing orders, their contracts and their team leaders should decide their performance ratings, instead of the public of Fiji.

He states that our Opposition members are clearly competent, loyal and efficient people, and should be allowed to get on with their job without any criticism.

We Fijians cannot criticise them, but in the name of “leading a charge towards accountability, openness, truth and justice” these politicians and their supporters can question and criticise the sitting Government of the day and other public figures.

He further goes on to question and condemns the newspaper for publishing critical views by Fijians, suggesting that “as gatekeepers of the newspaper”, critical views of Fijians should be not be published. He also questioned the reasons why the newspapers were not “refusing to condemn such writers”.

Please note that the freedom of speech, expression and publication, is clearly defined in Section 17 (1)”Every person has the right to freedom of speech, expression, thought, opinion and publication, which includes—(a) freedom to seek, receive and impart information, knowledge and ideas;(b) freedom of the press, including print, electronic and other media; (c) freedom of imagination and creativity; and(d) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.

(2) Freedom of speech, expression, thought, opinion and publication does not protect—(a) propaganda for war; (b) incitement to violence or insurrection against this Constitution; or (c) advocacy of hatred that— (i) is based on any prohibited ground of discrimination listed or prescribed under section 26; and

(ii) constitutes incitement to cause harm.

It should be noted that this needless exercise, trying to correct this letter writer of his misplaced understanding of the Constitution, and other related issues, is taxing our resources.

It is best that he concentrate his writings in his area of expertise, as suggested by my “Smear Artist” article (FS 29/11/14). He is clearly wrong when he brands writers of critical letters and Opinion pieces, questioning our public figures and politicians, as “personal vilification”.

Politicians need to be grilled and questioned relentlessly by Fijians, if the need arises, and that is exactly what the SODELPA/NFP had also hoped to do when elected.

However as they kept taking time out in 2014, every time the going got tough in our new Fiji parliament, at the hands of a very well oiled, greased, informed and a very talented and professional government members of the day –in contrast.

Come 2015, today we can clearly note that SODELPA/NFP coalition have not even a dent on the image of the sitting government –whose feathers remain unruffled to this day, come the new year.

We will be failing in our duty of care, if we were to take the advice of the letter writer and leave our grill cold, as the BBQ always tastes better on a hot grill. SODELPA/NFP need to be grilled to a well done state –not rare or medium – in the name of “leading a charge towards accountability”, in the same words of the Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa (FT 26/12/14).


New Year
Wise Muavono


The New Year has dawned. It is now 2015 and we have another 365 days of opportunities ahead of us.

I wish this year has lesser disasters, lesser hate, lesser accidents but loads of love and pure waka. Happy New Year.


FNU saga
Allen Lockington, Lautoka

I find it rather unfortunate reading about the VC of FNU being sent home.

FNU is a learning institution; if the head is sent home, then something is very wrong.

In the past I had highlighted the Diploma in Customs course being offered there. When students graduate they have no idea of the real world. I had been engaged by various companies to retrain graduates because whatever was in the syllabus at FNU was nothing near what was in the industry.

I had even questioned this during my short stay there. But it seemed that my 30 years experience in the industry was nothing.

And of course the fees was to die for.”


Smart nation

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa,



FijiFirst Government wants Fiji to be a smart nation.

Our 3.3 billion dollars 2015 National Budget will help Fijians to be healthy, wealthy and wise if we make maximum use of it.

Christians and those who believe in the Almighty Creator would say that we need divine wisdom to be truly wise and empowered to work towards being healthy and wealthy.

We will all have different New Year’s resolutions for 2015, yet I would like to invite readers to join the Seventh-day Adventist family all over the world in its study of the Book of Wisdom (Proverbs), this first quarter of 2015.

The book answers such questions as: What and how should I teach my children? How can I be happy and successful? Why do I have money problems? How can I get a promotion in my job? How can I resist sexual temptations? How should I cope with my anger or my tongue?

The lessons are sold at the ABC Bookshop in the Flea Market in Suva or enjoy the free online lessons and interactive studies on www.ssnet.org and click Hope Sabbath School.

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