Issued 9th June 2014
The NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) calls on all young people to participate fully in the upcoming Fiji Elections, as voters, volunteers, campaigners, candidates and citizens. This call comes as the NGO Coalition also welcomed the reinstatement of a second year university student’s scholarship over the weekend. Tamanirarama Seruiraduvatu’s scholarship had been revoked without notice two weeks ago, for “associating…in political agendas”. It is understood that this referred to Tamanirarama’s participation as a volunteer in a political campaign.
“We welcome the announcement by the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board who revisited their earlier decision and reinstated Tamanirarama’s scholarship,” said NGOCHR Chair, Shamima Ali.
“While his scholarship should not have been revoked in the first place, it is commendable that the TSLB responded to this mistake and reinstated the scholarship.”
The reinstatement followed a campaign of diverse support for Tamanirarama. However, the NGOCHR is concerned that the scholarship incident will hinder other young people from participating fully in the lead-up to national elections on September 17, 2014.
“Tamanirarama’s reinstatement should be a story of hope for young people; that they can participate in the lead-up to the elections and voice their political opinions, without fear of unjust punishment,” said Ali.
“We call on all young people, especially first time voters, to participate in the elections as citizens, to voice their opinions, join the political party or campaign of their choice, and make their issues heard – it is not just their democratic right, but also their responsibility.”
For more information contact
Shamima Ali 9992875