|The fire at Cunningham 3|
APPEALS TO RACISM, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND VIOLENCE. The Fiji Police say they are aware of the racial and religious vilification, the calls for violence and the call for the FijiSun to be "burnt to ashes", published on some Facebook pages by people who support SODELPA. Ro Teimumu said these are not official SODELPA statements and called for more tolerance.
But, intentionally or not, SODELPA's policies on race and religion prepare the ground for these expressions of intolerance and the probable arson noted in the next item. Similar sentiments led to the 1987 and 2000 coups. Ro Teimumu needs to do more than call for tolerance. To improve SODELPA's tarnished image. she needs to strongly condemn the intolerance, set an example with her own statements, and lead the call to bring the perpetrators to justice.
POLITICAL ARSON? Residents of Cunningham Stage 3 in Suva were rudely awoken yesterday to find a church hall earmarked as a polling station in flames. The fire destroyed the wooden Vunidakua Methodist Church hall, which was to cater for 500 people during the September election.
RAZOR POLL: "Are some parties using race and religion to win votes?"
Yes 53% No 45% Unsure 2%
I must admit to be surprised at the low 'yes' vote. Could Fijian voters be so used to race and religion being used in this way that they do not all the instances when it occurs?
DIRTY POLITICS IN INDONESIA: SIMILARITIES TO FIJI? Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, was recently elected as Indonesia's president, despite the dirty politics of his main opponent.
This is what Peter Drysdale, the editor of the East West Forum had to say:
"Jokowi's opponent, the tough talking Prabowo Subianto, former son-in-law of ousted president Suharto, was advised by American consultants, previously mentors to Republican candidates on how to drown out opponents in smear campaigns.
Prabowo's electoral machine spread false rumours that Jokowi was a Singaporean Chinese and a Christian. Jokowi was pushed onto the defensive by the bite of these attacks among Indonesia's devout Muslim community. But, though the contest tightened in the run to the wire, Jokowi emerged the clear winner."
PARTY POLICIES ON THE USE OF INTERNET. See www.fijijsun.com.fj/?p=224183