Fiji Coup Supplement
(Ministry of Information, Suva)
12 September, 2000
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION DENIES DISCRIMINATION AGAINST INDO-FIJIAN CIVIL SERVANTS
The recent statements in the media by the Fiji Public Service Association regarding alleged outright discrimination against Indo-Fijians in the Civil Service is baseless, said Anare Jale, Secretary of the Public Service Commission.
He said the discrimination in the service in the form of transfers, demotions and marginalisation is an attempt by the Association, in particular, Mr Rajeshwar Singh, to misinform the members of the Pubic and to generalise the matter.
³Why has the FPSA failed to mention specific cases and the names of those aggrieved members of his union?² said Mr Jale.
He said it is surprising to note the partisan way in which Mr Rajeshwar Singh is dealing with the matter.
³He is acting as if all FPSA members are Indo-Fijians and that he is devoting all his efforts and his unionıs resources to cause of one ethnic group only and has neglected his role to the general membership of his union,²
Mr Jale went on to cite the case regarding the transfer of Shiri Chand, the former Divisional Commissioner Western, to Suva has been referred to the Appeals Board by Mr Chand.
Similarly, the Fiji Teachers Unionıs General Secretary, Agni Deo Singh, has highlighted grievances of some of his members in the Ministry of Education in regards to promotion.
³The two Singhs are fully aware of the existence of the Appeals Board which is tasked with the responsibility to decide appeals on appointments, promotions and should advise their aggrieved members on the proper way to address their grievances and not to run to the media,² said Mr Jale.
PSC is very concerned about the actions of the two Singhs in trying to politicise and racialise the matters concerning Indo-Fijians in the Public Service.
³The two Singhs are acting as champions for the Public Servants cause. Why have they suddenly changed their stances,² said Mr Jale.
He asked why the two gentlemen decided to keep quiet and not to challenge the actions of the previous government over the removal of the former Director of Immigration from his Office.
Why there was no challenge to the investigation done against the Director of Training, PSC, which was conducted by two Junior Indo-Fijian officers with the Ministry of Finance and Auditor-Generalıs Office.
He also questioned why they did not question the investigation conducted against the Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports, the removal of the tea lady from the Prime Ministerıs Office, and the appointment of the private secretary to the deposed prime Minister.
³The FPSA, during the term of the Coalition Government, has been the base for gossipers who have been behind anonymous complaint letters written to the Prime Ministerıs Office which led to numerous investigations which were later found to be baseless and a waste of government time and resources.²
He went on to say, the FPSA is aware of the identities of these gossipers and spies that were located in ministries and departments to secretly file reports to FPSA and to the Prime Minister on the activities of senior officers in those organisations.
Mr Jale said the FPSA should therefore, not be surprised by the actions that have and will be meted out to this bunch of evil doers when they are caught.