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Indo-Fijian Politicians Blast Samoan Publisher

Indo-Fijian Politicians Blast Samoan Publisher

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SUVA (USPJ/Pacific Media Watch): Indo-Fijian political leaders have hit out at statements by a Samoan newspaper publisher blaming Indo-Fijians and Asians as the cause of ethnic division in Fiji, The Fiji Times reports.

They were reacting to an editorial by Savea Sano Malifa, owner of the Samoa Observer in Apia, which claimed ethnic division in Fiji was a result of Indians refusing to marry or socialise with indigenous Fijians.

Savea said that in such an environment, racial and political rivalry were inevitable, adding that indigenous Fijians should be in control of their destiny at all times.

The assistant general secretary of the Fiji Labour Party, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, said the editorial was an "insensitive", "cowardly" and "uncalled for" attack on Indo-Fijians.

The National Federation Party's general secretary, Pramod Rae, questioned Savea's understanding of the political and social issues in Fiji.

"The writer is obviously ill-informed about the reality of the situation in Fiji," he said.

Indo-Fijians and other groups had no intention of usurping the dominance of Fijians as was being propagated by a few "narrow-minded and misguided politicians", added Rae.

Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes, who is also the representative of the United General Party, said he did not subscribe to the idea that a lack of intermarriage caused ethnic divisions.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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