17 Nov 2016

Fiji political leader barred from school event

1:42 pm on 17 November 2016

The leader of Fiji's opposition Sodelpa Party has had his invitation to speak at a school prize giving withdrawn by the Education Ministry.

Sitiveni Rabuka had been invited by the Thomas Baker Memorial School, in Nanoko in Navosa, to officiate at its prizegiving ceremony.

But the school has told him it has been instructed to rescind the invitation.

Mr Rabuka says this is an ill-conceived political decision.

He says civil servants including senior education officials should be apolitical.

According to Mr Rabuka, children should not be denied hearing from all quarters and all parties of all political persuasions.

He says democracy can only thrive in a society where there is a free flow of ideas, where freedom of opinion and freedom of association are respected.

Mr Rabuka asks why is there a fear of alternate points of view.

He says in any case he was not going to speak of politics, but was planning to encourage the children to work hard, to be good and productive citizens, and strong and proud people of Navosa.

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