#100 AN ANNIVERSARY OF SORTS

Throwback to another era

Grubsheet marks its 100th posting in a most unfortunate way – the announcement that we are banning one of our readers for overt racism and inciting violence. Wilson Tamanikaira, whose real name is Ilisoni Tamanikaira, is an avowed indigenous supremacist from Fiji who happens to live in the Australian city of Toowoomba. He is educated and articulate but we have endured his racist taunts and outrageous prejudice for long enough. Twice now, he has urged indigenous Fijians to beat Grubsheet on sight or “give him a hiding”. It is the last time he does so in these columns.

He was given a warning to desist but has repeated the outrage. So any further postings from him will be deleted. His racist rantings are tolerated elsewhere so he will continue to have ample outlets for his message of hate. But he’s a one-man symbol of why racial equality in Fiji has to be enforced at the point of a gun. He’s also a one-man symbol of why free speech has its limits. When we started this blog, we chose not to follow the practice elsewhere of reviewing comments before they are published. We did this because we passionately believe in free speech. But that does not include inciting violence. We intend to lodge a formal complaint with both the Australian and Fijian authorities about this individual. He is a menace and a clear threat to public order, having broken the laws on racial vilification and inciting violence. He is a throwback to an era of savagery and his views have no place in civilised discourse. Similar comments by other readers will also be removed. On that unhappy note, we look forward to our next century.