Unchiefly Attack on Sharon Smith-Johns

I'd promised myself not to pay much more attention to the Ratu Tevita saga but this time he's well and truly revealed himself by crossing the boundary of good taste and common decency.

Sharon Smith-Johns is the Permanent Secretary of  Information.  This is what he said about her:

"Finally to the illegal government spokeswoman, as an Australian we welcome you back to our beloved country, having returned from five months of leave paid for by the taxpayers of my country it is about time you earned the money and started speaking the truth... Otherwise we the citizens of Fiji would rather not hear nor see you misinforming us in the future."

Ratu Tevita said this knowing full well why Sharon was on leave and knowing also that she is a Fiji citizen with Fijian children. He knew she was in Australia for cancer treatment.  When I told someone about Ratu Tevita's comment, the instant reply was —
"I think he is gutless and a coward when he has to pick on a woman who he knew was sick."   

I demean myself with this personal attack on Ratu Tevita but he should not be allowed to attack others in the way he has been doing.

It does not escape notice that his main attacks have been against an Indo-Fijian and a European, when he speaks often in the Fijian language to a largely itaukei audience.

He claims to speak for all Fijians failing to recognize that both Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Sharon Smith-Johns are Fiji citizens. Thanks to this government, they are no longer vulagi (visitors) but citizens with as much right to speak for Fiji as anyone else. And don't tell me he's not playing the good old race card again.

If you're still in doubt, look carefully at the framed award in this cartoon recently published by Coup4.5, Ratu Tevita's blog of choice, and read of the Rev Akuila Yabaki's grave concern in the post below.  It starts: "The Citizens' Constitutional Forum has expressed grave concern and is appalled that racism is once again rearing its ugly head as the tone of the debate arising through the Ratu Tevita Mara saga is turning ethno-racist and inflamed...."


Free Speech said…
The really important part of Rokoului’s statement was that Sharon should earn her money by speaking the truth and championing the return of a media unfettered by censorship.

Sharon is a newspaper and internet pioneer. She grew up and made a name for herself with a free press and a free internet and now she is responsible for censoring media in Fiji. Is that not hypocritical?

Surely if she had any standards, she would have to agree that what was good for her business career would be good for Fiji.

Again I don’t see Rokoului being racist. You say he has attacked 2 people 1 Indian and 1 Australian. Have you forgotten his main target is Frank, who is Fijian. It looks to me he is being very even handed in who he is attacking. Added to which he is attacking them as individuals and not as member of any racial group.

It is you, Frank and Sharon who are trying to play the race card, not Rokoului.

I have attached the piece below for information only.


“From September 1999 to November 2000, Mrs. Smith-Johns was the company director of Powderbox, an Internet development business that created two other Internet companies, Tempest Online and

Tempest Online focused on sales solutions for Internet Advertisers; while Shesaid was the first Internet online publishing company launched in Australia specifically for women.

She was the founding director of Selenium Interactive that focused on building commercial websites from August, l998 to September l999

Mrs. Smith-Johns was the National Sales Manager for Fairfax Online from February l996 to August l998, with more than 10 individual websites; she was also the Retail Sales Manager for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mrs. Smith-Johns has lived in Fiji for the past three years, and is married to dive instructor William Johns. The couple have four children, Sebastian age 7, Kurt age 5, Oakley age 4, and Indianah age 1.”
Croz Walsh said…
@ Disagree ... You misunderstand my point which was that Mara knew why she was on leave (as he did that she is a Fiji citizen) but he did not say so. This left the impression that she could have been on vacational or any other type of leave (and that she is not a Fiji citizen). If he was merely speaking against her views (as you seem to think) why did he mention her leave other than to discredit her? Why do you think he concealed this information?
Sloane Ranger said…
He concealed information, Croz, because this man is not an Officer and a Gentleman. He is already a proven liar. This man is a Spiv and a Shyster who turns his back to the people who remunerate him. Another one to do so. This is becoming a habit - a nasty, low and cunning one.
Anonymous said…
@ sloane

Agree and those left in the RFMF are not much better. They too will do everything they can to avoid the law. Mara is like the rest of them the only difference is he no longer has power and the others do.
White Frangipani said…
Looks like a nasty case of "sour grapes" to me. If Mara knew Sharon was on leave because of cancer then who is being the manipulative master puppeteer here? Returning to her position after cancer treatment shows commitment to Fiji and its future and a great deal of bravery. I wish Sharon all the best.
Prepare for battle said…
Croz, why are you demeaning yourself by attacking this low-life? Even moderates must sometimes fight fire with fire. Mara needs to be exposed as a pampered fraud, surrounded by the very people who brought Fiji to its knees. This is not about democracy. It's about pursuing the usual chiefly privileges and promoting the racist attitudes of the indigenous extremists. Remember the old saying: evil triumphs when good men do nothing. Got for it.
Delusion of Grandeur said…
Bula Croz, hear! hear! we ought to move on and not waste our time and effort on Roko Ului as he has brought shame to the legacy left by his parents and their respective vanua. To top it all off he has no respect or love for his elder sister Adi Koila and his brother-in-law's efforts. These two people who are working for the best interest of our beloved country. I only hope the first lady would leave her relatives to stew in their own mess, rather than trying to help clean them up - I know it is difficult to do when blood is supposedly thicker than water - ironically we need both elements to survive. God bless our beloved Fiji and all it's people.
Navosavakadua said…
This is the second time you've made this claim of racism in the Fijian versions of Ratu Tevita's statements.

Can you please provide a translation of what you regard as the offending comment.

On one You Tube statement Ratu Tevita mentions the infamous Sayed-Khaiyum thesis urging that it's time to get rid of some Fijian institutions which are dear to the heart of many Fijians. Is this what you claim is racist?

Ratu Tevita doesn't link this view in any way to Sayed-Khaiyum's ethnicity. He simply deplores it and presumably regards it as racist.

Your readiness to believe that anyone speaking in Fijian is likely to be making racist comments suggests that you need to remove the plank from your own eye before you try to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

If you provide a translation of the comments you're referring to, people can make up their own minds.
Walker Texas Ranger said…
The test of proper or improper conduct was always and remains honesty and an absence of lies. Frankly speaking, anyone who lies is fair game. If the ordinary people who remunerate liars are left confused, then they ought and must de-confuse themselves? It is their own interests which suffer through a failure of good judgement. Look at the FNPF and weep! Using Public Money and converting it (however smartly) to private use is ......STEALING. Surely, we must all recognise this?
Kicking Up the Dust said…
@ Navosavakadua.....

If trust and the confidence necessary to promote peace and stability demand that people are left in no doubt that THEIR BEST INTERESTS are always served ahead of personal gain......why prevaricate through language? The Lingua Franca of Fiji is English. It has been since Cession. It is a unifying link between all Fiji's various communities: it might so easily have been Japanese or German? Remember? No, I guess we do not.

If we choose to use the vernacular - by all means do so but use all vernacular languages. This is surely an act of Good Faith? Do we believe in Good Faith as a force for good or do we believe in distortion and subterfuge: Kicking Up the Dust to obfuscate the view?
The Night of the Long Knives said…
This trick of saying different things in Fijian and English was an old SDL habit. The whole tone of the Fijian rant by Mara is racist, all is innuendo and implication. For those not clever enough to see through the strategy, it is easy to say, show us the offending words. But for everyone else, the innuendo is as powerful a nationalist tool to incite racial hatred, as direct attacks on a race. We are left with a nasty taste in the mouth. Hitler would be proud of Mara.
Code of Chivalry said…
Let .Croz be fully assured he has not demeaned himself. He has shown chivalry. Chivalrous conduct is that becoming of an Officer and a Gentleman towards ladies. Yes, ladies that old fashioned term which sadly has fallen into disuse? Those military officers who have attended prestigious military academies overseas will have been made aware of the ancient Chivalric Code of Conduct? to break it is to be deemed "Not an Officer or a Gentleman".
This stems from the times of King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table: a Code of Honour. More than fifteen hundred years old. If broken, this code will be avenged and today the International Criminal Court at The Hague and the UN stand ready to oblige.
Islands in the Stream said…
Something further to ponder concerning Ratu Tevita Mara and his apparent and sudden conversion to right thinking: in the rush to embrace a Fiji for All, he appears to have overlooked a few important factors:

There will no place for racism or racist utterance in the Viti Vou

There will be no place for gender subservience to male domination and to violence. Ratu Mara is reported to have exclusively attacked women and one other.

There will be no place ageism

There will be no place for those of formerly elevated status who abuse their position and who impose on those to whom they owe their living.

Has he fully understood this? He needs to because the 21st century is increasingly a Century of Liberty and of rights with obligations attached.

Economic performance is inexorably linked to Liberty and to Freedom of Choice. The new constitution must reflect this fully.

We choose NOT to elect Men of Violence who impose upon us a Sea of Troubles. We choose a PARITY OF ESTEEM for all citizens and Fijians.

Is that perfectly plain?
Navosavakadua said…
@The Night of the Long Knives

pls don't go to the trouble of translating all that you claim the SDL said in the past, but pls do provide your translation of Ratu Tevita's statement so we can judge what you consider to be innuendo.

I'm sorry but no translation means no credibility.
Anonymous said…
Croz he is a product of the people you support and sing the praises of.
Dont get gentlemanly when we are taking about military regimes. Give me a break!!!!

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