By Netani Rika
THE public has a right to know why commissioners have not been appointed to oversee the Fiji Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights
Commission, says National Federation Party Leader, Dr Biman Prasad.
Speaking on World Albinism Day, Prasad said the Constitutional Offices Commission had made no appointments five weeks after the term of the last commissioners ended.
“Human rights standards apply to us all regardless of our external appearances,” Prasad said.
“Fiji received the UN Special Rapporteur on Albinism only last December and yet, a month after the contracts of the previous commission expired, the government does not see fit to appoint a new commission with the urgency that such appointments are required.
“This is a clear sign that human rights standards that are set by the oversight Commission, and certainly not the Director, are merely talking points and not a genuine priority of this government.”
Prasad said the need for independence and impartiality of the Fiji Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Commission was highlighted last year by the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mutuma Ruteere.
“Unless there is rapid movement on the appointment of a new Commission, all taxpayers are entitled to question how their taxes are being poured in the Fiji Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Commission.
The Fiji Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Commission is headed by Ashwin Raj who also heads the Media Industry Development Authority.
By Anish Chand
The National Federation Party has written a letter to the Speaker of the House, asking her to look into providing professional anger management counselling for Fiji First backbencher Howard Politini and all tthe NFP youth members.
This is related to an incident where two of the NFP Youth Wing volunteers were allegedly bullied and threatened by the FijiFirst MP Politini.
“The NFP will not tolerate any such thug-like behaviour towards any member of our party and we seek your guidance in the resolution of this appalling behaviour that does not bring dignity and decorum to your House,” wrote the NFP whip Prem Singh.
The NFP claims their youth members are now seriously traumatised.
“This incident occurred on Constitution Avenue, just outside the main entrance into the Parliament chambers, that would be classified as out of the Parliamentary Precincts, we advise your high office that we now have to involve the Fiji Police Force with an official complaint to ensure the safety of our young people,” Singh wrote.
“This is a clear symptom of trauma from bullying,” Singh added.
The NFP is asking the Speaker to act.
“We urge your office to look into providing professional anger management counselling [for] Hon Politini and all their youth members, with a genuine apology extended to our traumatised youth members, in the presence of a professional counsellor,” says the NFP Whip.