12 Jan 2004

Fiji Labour Party accused of inciting racial hatred

7:07 am on 12 January 2004

The Fiji Labour Party has been accused of inciting racial and religious intolerance in a pamphlet it is distributing as part of its campaign for the Tavua Open by-election later this week.

The charge has been brought by the National Federation Party which says the Hindi language publication accuses the party and its members of perpetrating the 2000 coup and financing the rebels who overthrew the Labour government.

The NFP's general secretary, Pramod Rae, says this is false and baseless and amounts to hate speech which is prohibited by the constitution and is against the Public Order Act.

Mr Rae says it is a well known fact that during the takeover of parliament, the NFP was the lone voice demanding the release of the hostages and the re-instatement of the democratically elected government.

He says at the time not a single squeak was heard from Labour MPs and senators who escaped being taken hostage and who went into hiding or fled overseas.