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Banned Fijian democracy advocate to speak in Wgtn

Media Release
5 November 2009

Banned Fijian democracy advocate to speak in Wellington

Tevita Koroi, president of Fijian Teachers Association and president of the Council of Pacific Education (COPE) will speak at the TEU annual conference next week. Mr Koroi is being unfairly victimised by the Fijian government says TEU president Tom Ryan.

Mr. Koroi was dismissed in May this year from his position as principal of Nasinu Secondary School after comments he made in December 2008 at the launch of Movement for Democracy in Fiji.

In his comments Mr. Koroi said it was two years since the December coup and it was time that Fiji returned to democracy and parliamentary rule. He also said that the interim government must take the country to free and fair elections as soon as possible.

“The Fijian government is punishing a dedicated school principal for fulfilling his role as an elected trade union leader. That’s simply not fair – and a denial of his basic human rights,” said Dr Ryan.

A few weeks ago Mr Koroi was officially informed by the Fijian Ministry of Education that he will no longer be accepted as the representative of the FTA at major institutional education forums. The high level ministerial bodies include the Education Forum, the Fiji Teachers Registration Board, the Joint Consultative Committee, and the Staff Board.

The right of education organisations to elect their own representatives freely is an indispensable condition for them to be able to act in full freedom and to promote effectively the interests of their members and the people they teach.

Mr Koroi will be warmly welcomed as a guest speaker at the TEU Annual Conference at the Mercure Hotel Willis St in Wellington at 2pm, Tuesday 10 November. Media will be welcome to attend.


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