#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Maori TV interview on Fiji disappointing

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maori TV interview on Fiji disappointing

Frank Bainimarama's interview on Maori TV was predictable and Julian Wilcox's questions disappointing.

After watching Bainimarama's interviews on SBS television and Al Jazeera, the Commodore's answers was to be expected.

And if one was banking on Julian Wilcox to ask the right questions, then that too was disappointing.

Good on Maori TV for scoring an interview with Bainimarama, but because the interviewer did not know enough about Fiji, he could not reply with examples to support his "perceptions".

For example, Wilcox asked Bainimarama if he was harrassing a certain editor of a newspaper. Bainimarama asked Wilcox who it was. Wilcox tried to avoid answering but failed and had to admit was the editor in chief of the Fiji Times editor - Netani Rika as we all know. Bainimarama then asked Wilcox why he should be harrasing him.

Wilcox did not have an answer and moved on.

What he should have asked was who was behind the home visits, the smashing of Rika's car and the threats not to print anti-government stories.

Wilcox also failed to ask why people who spoke out against the interim government were silenced and taken to Queen Elizabeth barracks to be intimidated and warned to keep their mouths shut.

He failed to ask if Bainimarama was so sure about his actions, then why didn't he let people criticise him freely?

He failed to ask about the allegations of innocent people like Sakiusa Rabaka and Nimilote Verebasaga being killed by soldiers and the soldiers being let off the hook.

In the beginning of the interview, Wilcox asked Bainimarama why he carried out the 2006 coup. Bainimarama told him there was a lot of nepotism and corruption going on, which had to be stopped.

If Wilcox knew more - or as much as he should've - he would've come back with the question what of the nepotism of now? And why was there a militarisation of the civil service where military officers were appointed to key positions in the civil service.

He failed to ask about allegations of a mates rates system, where friends of Bainimarama or his interim ministers are appointed to top positions on statutory boards collecting massive allowances in the process.

He failed to ask why the constitution couldn't be ammended to get rid of the racial based voting instead of abrogating it.

And he failed to ask why it would take five years to place electoral reform in place.

The vox pops by Carmen Parahi was also short of what it could've been.

Her question was along the lines of what people thought about the military regime running Fiji.

The first person she asked was a sports reporter at the state run Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, whose CEO is Riyaz Sayed Khaiyum, is the brother of Fiji's interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Of course this employee of the state run station will say he and people in Fiji are happy with the military government.

Of course the other people who came on camera, would not criticise the interim government. They all know what's happened to those who talk against the government.

I'm sure there were a lot of people who declined to go on camera to answer that question.

The two member panel discussion at the end of the interview was also disappointing. There was no substance to the five to 10 minute discussion. Nik Naidu spoke well but former senator Ratu Epeli Nailatikau kept talking about God.

Julian Wilcox does a fantastic job interviewing New Zealand politicians about issues affecting Maori, but I don't think he was well-versed enough on Fiji's situation to conduct the interview.

Frank Bainimarama has had three interviews on television now - none of them have asked the hard questions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is now crystal clear that absolute media censorship imposed by the regime was clearly intended to silence pro-democracy activists and aim to get Fiji's population to submit to the rule of the gun through the regime.

Frank Bainimarama's comments on Maori TV that censorship is not affecting operations of media outlets because television station is broadcasting and newspapers are being published daily is a clear signal that censorship and Public Emergency Regulations could become a permanent fixture beyond 2009.

The regime despite being fully backed by the military and police believes censorship is the most effective tool of oppression to silence those championing the cause for democracy and rule of law.

It also prevents the mainstream media from reporting on scandals, nepotism, corruption inconsistencies on the regime because under PER, these do not constitute pro-Fiji news.

The regime is not comfortable that it cannot be questioned or its actions and policies scrutinised by the media. And censorship forces the media to legitimise the regime by calling it government which the dictatorship hopes will go towards the majority of the nation's population to acquieesce to its unlawful authority.