Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Teleni’s speech sparks anger

Teleni’s speech sparks anger - 2/18/2009

The outburst by Police Commissioner Esala Teleni as broadcast on television last night has been branded as racist and hypocritical by a Hindu organisation.
And interim Defence Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau said last night he would meet Mr Teleni today to discuss the matter.

Mr Teleni was shown on Fiji One last night threatening senior Indian police officers to terminate their employment if they did not cooperate with his leadership. At one stage he mentioned what is regarded as a swear word in Fijian. The transcript of his speech was posted on the Fiji Television website last night.

Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam president Dorsami Naidu said Mr Teleni’s comments on television exposed him as a “total racist and an ill-suited person for the Police Commissioner’s post”.

“You don’t just tell people you can get rid of them and replace them in a minute,’’ he said.

“This latest outburst by Mr Teleni just shows the banana republic we have turned out to be. God help the people of this country if we’re going to have people like him in leadership roles.”

Efforts to obtain a comment from Mr Teleni last night were unsuccessful. But Ratu Epeli said he had been made aware of the news item which he would discuss with Mr Teleni today.

On Sunday, an Indian policeman told the Fiji SUN of their discomfort as Hindus with the religious crusade initiated by Mr Teleni and other Fijian senior officers.

After the publication of the policeman’s comment on Monday, police spokesperson Ema Mua enquired with this newspaper about the source of that story. She said she was asked to “write up something” in regards to that article.

Yesterday, Mr Teleni called a meeting of senior Indian police officers at the Nasova police academy.

According to the television report he told the officers to leave the force if they could not be loyal to him. He told them if they were going to speak to the press then there was no place for them in the force.

The transcript of his statement on the TV website read: “If I’m going to move people, I’ll move people. You can go to the press, you can go to the TV. It will not deter Commodore Teleni...come and see me, the press will not solve your problem. Today I’m going to (trust) you. If you are with me, you stay, if not you get out. If you get through that door, get out of the organisation. Kemudou tamata liu muri. I don’t know what’s wrong with you people.”

He said he had not forced Indian police officers to come to the crusade but only encouraged them. He then issued an ultimatum to them.

The transcript showed that he said: “Either you come with me and take this organisation forward or you get out,’’ he said.

“It’s as simple as that. Only if you happen to be lamulamu, lamu-sona people will go to the press. That will not solve the problem. I have a list of people; I’m going to start terminating their services. I am not hesitant to do that.

“I can sack everyone here sitting here today and I can recruit another 200 Indian officers today. I have no problems to do that. Fiji TV, Fiji Sun, Fiji Times will not help you. Let me remind you that any other Indian officers will not help you. Commissioner will help you.”

He warned the officers not to treat him the way they did previous commissioners.

The transcript further stated: “What has happened in the last few days made me much stronger. Kemudou dou cakava, what you always have been doing to the last commissioners and senior police officers, don’t do it to Commodore Teleni. I’m a different person,” he said.

Mr Teleni then spoke about his religious beliefs.

According to the transcript he further said: “No one is going to deter me and my Jesus. I never talk about your religions. I never discuss your religions because I respect it. But at the same time you must respect my religion. You do not go to the press,” he said.

A religious organisation has stated that their members’ participation in a Christian crusade initiated by the police was a personal choice.

Eralier yesterday, Arya Pratinidhi Sabha acting president Sushila Pathik said Indian officers who were of the Hindu faith had the choice to either attend the crusades or just stay away.

She refused to comment further on the matter but added the crusade was about goodwill.

“It’s an individual issue. At these crusades they just preach goodwill and they are not converting anyone,” said Ms Pathik.


... said...

Sia, I've just stumbled on your blog. It takes a different stance than mine( but your arguments are rational and you do not stoop to attack the integrity of those with whom you disagree: a giant step up from some other blogs. I shall set up a link to your blog in mine, and would appreciate you doing the same.

Kind regards, Croz (Walsh)

... said...

Sorry for the Sia, Sai.

Fingers hit the wrong key.

राव गुमानसिंघ said...

that's not good