17 Aug 2006

Fiji Vice-President rebukes those calling for a ban on the book "Speaking Out"

10:21 am on 17 August 2006

Fiji's Vice President has publicly criticized the country's nationalists and the Methodist Church for their recent campaign to ban a book by a former cabinet minister and Speaker of parliament, Sir Vijay R Singh.

Fiji TV reports that Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi's comments were made last night when he launched the book " Speaking Out at the University of the South Pacific.

Ratu Joni said the nationalists and the Methodist Church may be campaigning against the book because Sir Vijay has painted a portrait of them they cannot accept.

But the Vice President asked how anyone could ask for the complete removal of any publication because it draws "unflattering conclusions about conduct in the public domain."

Ratu Joni said "politics and religion are in that theatre."

He said those who operate in the public domain may not stop others from judging them "so long as the observations are not libelous, seditious, baseless or seeking to stir ethnic hatred."

Speaking Out goes on sale today.