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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Fiji Broadcast Commission TV’s alleged racist show under fire

The Fiji Broadcast Commission TV has come under the spotlight for statements made on one of it’s educational shows towards the i-taukei community.

There has been massive public backlash on social media by people claiming the program was “racist” and was allegedly tainting the image of the indigenous population.

The show which is hosted by multi linguist Nemani Bainivalu, translates sentences in English to Hindi and the Fijian vernacular.

There are numerous snapshots circulating on social media, criticising the programme and questioning the alleged prejudice statements made towards certain groups in our community.

The Director for Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj was shocked to discover the issue when Fiji One News brought this to his attention.

“One of the things that I want to make absolutely clear is just because the conversations in the vernacular and whether it be in I-taukei or in Hindi it does not give one the license to vilify, speech act which is tantamount to hate speech, any kind of conversation which is incriminatory and contrary to our constitutional values.”

The Fiji Police Force says voicing concern on social media does little to address this issue, even if there maybe a possible breach of current laws.

No one can be taken to task unless an official complaint is lodged.

“At this moment we can confirm that there hasn’t been any reports lodged with regards to those comments, but we are encouraging people if they see something on social media they are not happy with, anything that they come across they are more then free to come to any police station and lodge a report and that would give us the authority to investigate whatever issue that they might bring up,” said Police Spokesperson, Ana Naisoro.

Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA)  will also launch an investigation on whether FBC has breached the Media Decree, if an official complaint is made.

“The MIDA receives complaints, members of the public should feel free to lodge an official complaint with the authority, so that we can independently investigate, but I do want to sort of reiterate the fact that in principle any speech, act, whether in English or in vernacular does not give you the license to vilify and insight communal antagonism,” added Raj

FBC TV had only issued a public apology on it’s Facebook page saying the matter was being looked into and apologised for any offense caused.

FBC’s Chief Executive Riyaz Sayed- Khaiyum says he was only made aware of the issue Tuesday.

He says the matter in being looked into and an official statement will be made by the Producer of show soon.

Sayed-Khaiyum says any suggestions of incitement are not correct adding that FBC understands people may be hurt and offended and that the TV station will address the issue

FIJI Times

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 2:17 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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