#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fiji military seizes broadcast licences

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fiji military seizes broadcast licences

The Fiji military regime's seizure of broadcast licences is a "very bad signal" for international investment and freedom of speech in the Pacific nation, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says.

Mr Smith said on Saturday that Fiji's interim Attorney-General and Communications Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had been given new powers, which he had used to strip the licences of broadcasters "at whim".

The action was carried out by decree, which does not allow any court or other agency to overturn the decision.

"The interim Fiji military government has made changes to its broadcasting and communications arrangements and has effectively seized licences and reallocated those licences without compensation to the original broadcasting licence holders," Mr Smith told reporters in Perth.

"(It has) absolute power to renew or redistribute them without any compensation to those whose licences are stripped."

The Australian newspaper reported TV and radio stations were broadcasting this weekend on a temporary basis while awaiting a directive from Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

He is regarded as the government's second most powerful figure after military commander and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

Anyone broadcasting in contravention to the minister's directions can be jailed for five years, The Australian reported.

It said the dominant television broadcaster, Fiji TV, was owned by Yasana Holdings, which represents the 14 ethnic Fijian provinces and also owns the monopoly Papua New Guinea TV broadcaster EMTV.

It was now expected at least one frequency would be reallocated to the government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, which operates a radio service and has expressed an intention to establish a TV network.

The Australian's report said the corporation's chief executive, appointed earlier this year, was Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, younger brother of the attorney-general and formerly a TV journalist.

Mr Smith said the move was an escalation of the military regime's efforts to impose itself on its critics.

"The military regime has consistently set out to impose itself on those voices in the media, and those voices in the Fiji community who articulate criticisms of the interim regime," he said.

He said it also sent two bad messages to the international community.

"It sends a very worrying signal so far as sovereign risk is concerned," he said.

"We know that Fiji's economic circumstances have deteriorated significantly since the military regime came to power.

"That's been compounded by the global financial crisis, so we continue to be very worried about Fiji's economic circumstances.

"But the effective seizing and reallocation at the whim of the interim attorney-general and minister for communications will send very bad signs to the international investment community.

"Of course it also sends another bad signal so far as freedom of speech and human rights in Fiji is concerned."

Mr Smith said he would raise the issues surrounding Fiji's military regime with his counterparts at the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago beginning on Tuesday.

Fiji was suspended from the commonwealth after it refused to commit to holding a general election in 2010 - AAP


Anonymous said...

Ho hum. Not Stephen Smith again ( yawn ). Would you buy a used car from this man?

mark manning said...

Sounds like a candidate for Frank's Ministry !
Sexual predator deported to Fiji, border agency says

I would have stopped Frank on day one :-
Fiji military regime's seizure of broadcast licences a 'very bad signal' for freedom of speech, Stephen Smith says

Brooks rapist deported to Fiji
Reign of terror in 2000 left city shaken

NZ 'disturbed' at reports of Fiji media clampdown

My son in law :-

Anonymous said...

Puppet Man Smith & Used Cars.
Buy a Thunderbird.
(seriously - take a close look? Looks - talks & sounds just like one).

Anonymous said...

Khaiyum is just consolidating his position as the puppet master in this military regime. And guess what? The whole military is dancing to his tune.

Yet they do not realise it. WHAT A PITY!

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning, have you been drinking? All those links that aren't links and cryptic headlines. Believe me, I've tried to work out what you're on about but can't. Early onset dementia is a cruel thing, as I'm sure you know being a nurse. So easy to detect in others, so hard to confront in yourself. Do you find yourself dribbling uncontrollably or are the symptoms confined to your mental processes thus far, as seems obvious here? Poor fellow. I must remember to light a candle for you when I next go to mass.

mark manning said...

At least smith was elected and is answerable to the Parliament !
Where as Frank and Co. are a bunch of Treasonous dogs, worthy of no recognition and have the authority of a turd !

mark manning said...

They are just links for those who might be interested, of no particular value except to those who otherwise may see them as such.
Why don't you use your real name instead of hiding behind that demented old fool Frank Bainimarama's skirt ?
You know the poor fool is already demented with
Bi-polar disorder, who said that ?
At least Frank has an excuse for his behaviour, but you sound well educated and have no excuse.
So what's in it for you, are you having sex with his wife or sleeping with Kaiyum ?

Anonymous said...

Mark, uncontrollable visions of dogs and turds! Yes, I'm afraid there's now no doubt whatsoever about your tragic descent into madness. Strange that you should link the two in the way you have. Dogs and turds. Yes, the imagery would normally have a certain symmetry, I grant you. But where Stephen Smith and Frank Bainimarama come into it is one of those unfathomable mysteries of the deteriorating human mind. Poor fellow.

Anonymous said...

Good one Mark LOL .... Hey Anon ... is yr name Tony per chance ??


Anonymous said...

Mark, who's really demented here? It sure is a case of taking one to know one.I agree with you that anon shouldn't be hiding behind anyone's skirt but really! You've become more and more hysterical as time goes on and are showing signs of serious mental dislocation. All this talk about dogs and turds and inappropriate sex seems to be an alarming insight into your own psyche. Don't you think it's time you sought professional help? You're not doing the pro-democracy cause any good. We don't want the lunatic fringe involved and you've become a liability. You need to find another cause more in line with your carnal and canine interests before you inflict serious damage on the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Tony who?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Capital letter ravings from an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Which one?