Fear of Coronavirus fuels racist sentiments

February 5, 2020 7:11 am

Fear of the Coronavirus is fueling racist sentiments towards our Asian community.

The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has warned Fijians against making racist comments towards the Chinese community, be it in person or on social media.

FBC News has been approached by one local Chinese who was berated publicly at the Nadi Bus Stand by a bus checker.

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The incident in Nadi according to the victim was quite embarrassing as the man started yelling out that she had Coronavirus.

FHRADC Director Ashwin Raj says the commission condemns such action.

“Shame on people who were spreading this kind of thing for their fun and games. There is a community that is suffering because of our ignorance.”

Police Spokesperson Ana Naisoro has also assured minority communities that such actions can be prosecuted and people are encouraged to come forward if they are harassed.

“If anyone has any issues or anything that they feel is a threat to them, we would advise them to call and talk to our police station and report the matter. We will look into the report and conduct an investigation. This is the time where we should be relying on facts and relying on official releases.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Coronavirus is a matter of national security and we cannot tolerate unfounded fear-mongering because it is dangerous and counter-productive.