Analysis | Politics

Extremist Group Attacks Fellow Party Members, Newspaper

It has criticised MP Viliame Gavoka, former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu and deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro, claiming the newspaper is not SODELPA’s friend.
02 Sep 2020 09:40
Extremist Group Attacks Fellow Party Members, Newspaper
From left: SODELPA Former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu, MP Viliame Gavoka and deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro.

An extremist group of SODELPA conservative right wing has questioned why three candidates for the party leader contest are talking to the Fiji Sun.

It has criticised MP Viliame Gavoka, former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu and deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro, claiming the newspaper is not SODELPA’s friend.

Operating under what seemed like a fake name, ‘Ai Tukutuku’, the group labelled Mr Radrodro as “Frankenstein”.

This is the same group that recently launched an unprovoked, inappropriate, unacceptable and shocking attack on one of the country’s leading and senior journalists, Rosi Doviverata.

In its latest outburst, it has shown that it will stop at nothing to denigrate those who stand in their way and disagree with their political stance. It is an act of intimidation to discourage the candidates from answering Fiji Sun questions.

If there are elements in the party who sympathise with these extremists, it’s frightening to think that these are the forces working hard win the 2022 General Election.

Obviously, members of the group either do not appreciate or understand the concept of media freedom and freedom of expression.

The three candidates understand and engage in discussions on issues of public interests while these extremists are busy looking for people they will next attack. Incidentally, two candidates for party leader, incumbent Sitiveni Rabuka and former president Ro Filipe Tuisawau, had not responded to the first topic of moral integrity. Their silence is deafening. This is not to suggest that they had been scared off by this group. Without any explanation their silence can be interpreted is different ways.

The five candidates have been invited to comment on the second topic – Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences against Women and Children. So far, only Mr Gavoka has sent in his statement. They have until Thursday to respond.

The group was forced to take down a recent post about Mrs Doviverata after being challenged by her husband, Ro Alivereti Doviverata. The group put out a vitriolic post and a direct threat against the couple.

Mrs Doviverata had written a story based on a copy of a letter that the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem, wrote to a party member. It was in relation to the acting positions lapsing including caretaker party leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

The perpetrator/perpetrators of the threat accused her of being a party to a purported plot to write off the Vunivalu (warlord of the Roko Tui Dreketi, paramount chief of Rewa and Burebasaga Confederacy, Ro Teimumu Kepa). She was also accused of trying to gain favour with Ro Teimumu on behalf of her husband, who is member of the chiefly clan.

The message said: “Stop sucking up to the black cobra because you think your husband will be made the next Roko Tui Dreketi after the black cobra goes.” Black cobra refers to Ro Teimumu.

Her report had nothing to do with the chiefly house and seat of power in Rewa. Yet, her innocent family and husband were dragged in and vilified.

This latest attack is in the same tone. Mr Radrodro declined to comment. Mr Gavoka and Mr Tabaiwalu could not be reached to comment.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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