#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-02-05

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Unified media stand on new 'parlimentary privilege' decree

Former journo tackles the Fiji Sun on new decree and regional freedom group urges Fiji media to steer clear of it

As a former journalist and mentor to some of the current practising journalists in Fiji, I cannot help but question the intention behind the new State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree 2012 as reported in your article of 9 February, titled "Media protected".

Lest I be liable under the Public Order (Amendments) Decree 2012, let me state at the outset that I am penning this letter as someone with a genuine interest in the development of responsible journalism and that I offer my opinions in the spirit of "transparent discussions" as mooted by Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in the aforementioned article.

The provisions of the Decree appear to be modelled on the State Proceedings Act which afforded Members of Parliament certain privileges relating to their utterances in Parliament which would have otherwise opened them to court action if uttered in public.

First and foremost, the Parliamentary Privilege provision as correctly pointed out by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is applicable in most Commonwealth countries which have adopted the Westminster system of governance.

However, both Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and your newspaper have failed to point out the obvious to the reading public: that current ministers in Fiji were never elected; there is no Parliament in existence; and, the more important fact that Parliamentary Privilege does not extend beyond the doors of a properly constituted Parliament.

What the Decree does do is give all current government ministers the freedom to say whatever they wish to say, publicly or privately, defamatory or otherwise, and not be liable for their actions.

Despite the fact that the Public Order (Amendments) Decree 2012 does provide safeguards against issues like defamation, libel and slander, it is my humble opinion that this latest Decree contradicts those very provisions.

What is more appalling is the "carrot" being offered to media outlets to publish statements by ministers without fear of prosecution. The  same "carrot" is not offered in the case of injured parties wishing to respond to any targetted criticism by government ministers.

This, again, is in direct conflict of the Code of Ethics contained in the Fiji Media Industry Decree, where fairness, accuracy and balance are essential pre-requisites for responsible journalism.

The other worrying aspect of this Decree is that it will remain in force until a new Parliament is set in place. This gives current government ministers an unfair advantage if they are to contest the next general elections. This Decree stacks the election campaign in their favour as it gives them aboslute freedom to tear an opponent's character to shreds without fear of prosecution.

In the spirit of transparency, I would very much appreciate a more convincing explanation from Mr Sayed-Khaiyum as to how this Decree will "facilitate transparent discussions and exchange of views".

Yours sincerely,

Signed: Dennis Rounds
Lot 28 Vasatial Road
Laucala Beach Estate

Defamation protections for Fiji regime unwelcome, says PFF

PFF, Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS -- Fiji's journalists are being warned to steer clear of the latest media-related decree and stick to ethical standards to guide their reporting of regime speeches and statements. 
The warning comes in the wake of the country's new state proceedings decree, which grants Fiji's regime leader and his ministers exemption from defamation suits over anything they may say in public or private. 
Signed off on January 19th by the nation's President, the regime issued a statement this week claiming the decree will strengthen public discussion and consultation in the lead-up to planned elections in 2014. 
"Defamation and libel restrictions are a cornerstone of journalism ethics training and the practice applies whether a country has defamation laws or not. A leadership which protects itself but not its people from defamation suits cannot expect that to be welcome news. We urge and support our colleagues in Fiji to apply caution in interpreting this decree, and to resist any confusion with  parliamentary privilege which is only applied by democratically elected leaders, only in their official capacity, and only from the Parliament floor," says PFF chair Titi Gabi from Papua New Guinea. "Of all the decrees introduced by the regime this is the most blatant in its elitist protection of the regime leader and his ministers. The claim it will foster and open public debate because the media won't be facing defamation lawsuits over any stories quoting the regime leadership is a farce. Along with the Media Decree, this one should be immediately revoked."
"The best way to open public debate towards meaningful progress is to ensure the right to speak and be heard, to ask questions and to challenge ideas and policies, is to ensure everyone involved is able to openly do so," says PFF co-chair Monica Miller from American Samoa.
"This is yet another regime decree which adds to the current Media and other decrees shaping what is expressed in public and who says it. We stand by those media colleagues in Fiji who will strive in difficult times to uphold ethical standards, especially as they seek balance and right of reply from individuals and groups who may soon bear the brunt of the latest edict", she says.--ENDS
Decree announced: http://fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=0802129451fb595af42a6c83cc7e4e

Friday, February 10, 2012

FLP: new Decree 'sick joke'

[posted 9 Feb 2012,1500]
State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree 2012 granting privileged protection to the prime minister and his team in the lead up to general elections is another blatant assault on individual rights and freedoms. 
Together with the Public Order Decree 2012, it will undermine any chance of the next elections being free, fair and credible. Nor will it “facilitate open and frank discussion between Government, the public and other stakeholders…”, in the dialogue process due to begin soon, as claimed by the regime. 
The primary aim of the Decree is to protect the prime minister and his cabinet colleagues by providing a privileged environment in which to fight the elections. 
The Decree gives them immunity against defamation. Likewise, the media is free to publish any statements they make without fear of being sued for libel, no matter how defamatory and slanderous. 
The Decree further circumscribes the powers of the judiciary and denies the individual the right to redress, if wronged. It also violates the most fundamental principles of the Media code of ethics - that of honest, accurate, balanced and fair reporting. 
The move by the regime to seek protection via parliamentary privileges is preposterous and a ‘sick joke’ when Fiji has no parliament in place. 
Parliamentary privilege only applies to statements uttered in the House or Chamber. The same statement made outside the House is not covered by privilege. 
The regime is, therefore, incorrect in claiming that privileges accorded to its ministers under the Decree “is consistent with Parliamentary privilege as was applicable in Fiji and which is applicable in countries throughout the Commonwealth". 
The claim that the decree provides “a level playing field” is equally ridiculous considering that it gives an unfair and unjust advantage to the prime minister and his ministers in the upcoming election campaign. 
One fears that with the two recent decrees, the State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree 2012 and the Public Order Decree 2012, Fiji is becoming more and more of an authoritarian State rather than returning to democracy and the accepted tenets of international law.


  Fiji Labour Party
New Decree gives Bainimarama and his ministers legal protection

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sources: flooding to reach $200 million

Some of the flood victims outside the FNPF office in Lautoka. picture: BALJEET SINGH

The anguish today of flood victims desperately seeking funds from the Fiji National Provident Fund only to be sent home empty handed.

According to the Fiji Times 58 families (many of them with children) yesterday visited the Lautoka FNPF office seeking funds for basics and school uniforms.

Those turned away were reportedly told the forms had not reached the office or that FNPF would not be helping flood victims.

One man was quoted as pleading: "I am requesting the government to step forward and help us through these troubled times."

The plight of flood victims come as information from the ground suggests the cost of the flooding is well above the $8 million estimated by the regime. Inside sources told Coupfourpointfive last week damage is likely to top $30 million; another government source says a more realistic figure is $200 million dollars.

Sources say the illegal government will be hard pushed to find funding to repair the estimated 20,000 homes that have been destroyed along with bridges that have been washed away and roads that have been left with huge potholes. 

They say most of the flood victims will get no help from the regime apart from the two months of food rations and that many victims will probably have to rely on international aid via aid agencies like the Red Cross or NGO's instead of government.

Meanwhile a study by the UNISDR and UNDP, based on the devastating floods of 2009, has led to the finding that Nadi will be experiencing high-intensity floods every 25 years by 2100, instead of every 190 years.

The UN will have to do another report because it seems that every time there is heavy rainfall, flooding occurs.

It took only three years for flooding to reoccur after 2009 and there is serious concern that the frequency and intensity of this type of flooding will continue every 3 years or even more frequently.

While the UN believes being better prepared and having early warning systems is crucial - it does nothing for the millions lost to farmers and residents in crop damage and personal belongings and equipment.

The regime is advocating the relocation of settlements and farms - but who will pay for this? And what happens to current leases and rental agreements? While the idea is noble, the feasibility and practicality will be a logistical and administrative nightmare if not done correctly.

The following is the UN statement on an e-news bulletin:
NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) -- The United Nations on Sunday called for preventive measures to assist Fiji as heavy rains and severe floods have been ravaging the archipelago nation over the past week.
The United Nations disaster risk reduction agency said at least eight people have died and there have been 51 reported cases of water-borne diseases, including diarrhea and typhoid, as a result of the floods. A 15-day state of emergency has been declared in Fiji's west coast areas as more rain is expected to hit the country.
Some 1,300 people have been evacuated from their homes and the damage caused by flooding is estimated to be about $30 million. Population in vulnerable areas have been advised to evacuate, the agency said in a statement.
"These types of events are likely to continue to occur," said Angelika Planitz, sub-regional coordinator for the Pacific for the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).
"Scientists are exploring the evidence that climate change and developments in low-lying flood-prone areas such as Nadi and Ba are contributing factors," she added. "In the interim, improved preparedness and early warning, two important elements of disaster risk reduction, will have to remain important and urgent priorities."
A recent publication by UNISDR and the UN Development Programme warned that high-intensity floods would become more frequent in western Fiji.
In the Nadi area, for example, these type of floods used to occur every 190 years, but by 2100 it is projected that they will occur every 25 years.

No fund for flood victims

New decree heralds more foul play

Not so idle hands of Epeli Nailatikau has signed off yet another decree. pic MINFO.

Yet more shape changing from the illegal regime. With its eye clearly on the upcoming election, it has introduced a new decree to allow it to claim parliamentary privilege, a practice enjoyed by democratic governments where members have been  elected, media freedom is a given and where there is an Opposition and political debate may be brutal but is regulated.  

In again trying to reinvent the world to suit its purposes, the regime tries to dupe both the nation and the media with a statement that makes big the fact no media will be liable for publishing the comments of the illegal leader Frank Bainimarama or government ministers. 

In reality, media teams are being lulled into maintaining the status quo: reporting the view of the regime without analysis or criticism ahead of anyone brave enough to front the elections or make it to Parliament. The discerning will have noted, too, the 'fair play' spin in the headline.


Ministry of Information
The President has approved the State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree 2012, which provides that no media organization can be held liable for publication of statements, whether verbal or written, made by the Prime Minister or any Minister of Government, whether in their official or personal capacity.
The Decree is consistent with the Parliamentary privilege as was applicable in Fiji and which is applicable in countries throughout the Commonwealth; however, it goes further by protecting media organizations.

The law is intended to facilitate open and frank discussion between Government, the public and other stakeholders in the lead up to Fiji's Parliamentary elections.

The Decree will expire upon the date when a new Parliament is convened which will have its usual privileges for statements made by Parliamentarians.

The 2006 general election studies: Khaiyum's lies and deceit

What about European Union’s report on role of military in Fiji politics?

By Victor Lal
The illegal attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum never stops citing the European Union’s report on Fiji’s 2006 general election to justify his treasonous acts and that of his puppet dictator Frank Bainimarama.

Khaiyum continuously asserts that Fiji, which he considers as his “Mecca” fiefdom, is being guided by the European Union post-election report which cited irregularities with voter registration and voting practices, such as 101% voter turnout in one constituency, and the disenfranchisement of certain voter groups.

The lies and deceit of the “Squealer” knows no bounds in Fiji’s own Animal Farm. Remember the Squealer character: “All the other male pigs on the farm were porkers. The best known among them was a small fat pig named Squealer, with very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements, and a shrill voice. He was a brilliant talker, and when he was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive. The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white.”

Khaiyum says his illegal regime does not want a repeat of 2006 general election results, as highlighted by the European Union. “We have to ensure that there are proper laws to stop this from happening again,” he said. Khaiyum said under the 1997 Constitution, the principle of one person, one vote, and indeed one value was absent.

What the “Squealer” of Fiji has not told about the European Union Report? On 18 May 2006 the Chief Observer of the EU Election Mission to Fiji informed the European Union in his preliminary report as follows: “ Fiji’s May 2006 parliamentary elections were reasonably well organised and fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly were respected. Voters turned out in large numbers and they deserve to be commended for the commitment they have shown to democratic institutions…Ultimately, we do not consider that the shortcomings identified in the preliminary statement were of sufficient magnitude to fundamentally undermine the validity of the election process. These elections were a crucial further step in the consolidation of democracy in the Republic of Fiji Islands and the country now faces new challenges in endorsing the result and accepting a new elected leadership.”

While echoing similar sentiments, the “Final Report”, however had this to say about Khaiyum’s puppet dictator: “The Chief Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces became inappropriately involved in the political campaign through a series of public statements before and during the elections.”

The “Squealer” is not mentioning the role of the military in politics nor is he citing any evidence that suggests that the EU Final Report had recommended that the military should seize power after the 2006 elections and turn Fiji into Animal Farm – managed and dictated by Khaiyum and Bainimarama.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, the dictator seized power because the police were on the cusp of arresting and charging him over the death of soldiers following the 2000 mutiny at the barracks. He had betrayed George Speight and was part of the inner circle which had planned the overthrow of the Chaudhry government.

Here are the Recommendations from the EU’s Final Report on Fiji’s 2006 General Election:

The following recommendations to improve the electoral process and related areas are offered for consideration and action by the Fijian authorities and the international community:

Electoral system

Reforms of Electoral System: The combination of 46 communal constituencies and the ongoing use of the Alternative Vote system have not had the desired effect of diminishing the stratification of Fiji’s electorate and political parties, which reflect divisions between the country’s two main ethnic groups, indigenous-Fijians and Indo-Fijians. Informal round table sessions involving all political parties, independent candidates and civil society groups could provide an opportunity to examine the shortcomings of the current electoral system and explore other systems which might facilitate more cross-ethnic political representation.
Increase Open Constituencies: A gradual increase in the number of open constituencies and a corresponding reduction in the number of communal constituencies, as originally proposed by the 1996 Constitutional Review Commission could promote more intensive inter-ethnic cooperation by political parties.
Review Constituency Boundaries: An immediate review of constituency boundaries is recommended after the planned new census is completed. This should aim to redraw constituency boundaries to ensure a more equitable numerical balance of voters per constituency. The guiding principle of this exercise should be to guarantee adherence to the principle of equal suffrage, which prescribes that no vote should carry proportionally more weight than another.

Electoral Administration  

Strengthen Electoral Management Bodies: The Electoral Commission and the OSE could enhance their effectiveness and independence by acquiring adequate staff and sufficient budgets. The establishment of an electoral management body on a permanent basis would help develop institutional knowledge and improve its planning, training and preparation capacity. Under the current system, the Supervisor of Elections is frequently not in a position to establish his authority over the four divisional Returning Officers due to their normal institutional status as Division Commissioners. At the very least, the appropriateness of Division Commissioners being automatically appointed as Returning Officers during election periods should be reviewed. An explicitly established chain of responsibility and the introduction of clear procedures governing the grounds for the removal from office of the Supervisor of Elections would help clarify working relationships within the electoral management bodies.

Enhanced Societal Representation: The electoral administration management and executive bodies should introduce equality measures in their recruitment procedures to ensure a better representation of women and ethnic groups at all administrative levels. At a political level, steps such as quotas or temporary affirmative action could be taken to enhance the participation of women in municipal bodies and the national parliament.
Regular Meetings with Political PartiesOSE should establish a permanent timetable of regular meetings with political parties to provide timely information on election-related issues. The frequency of meetings could be increased in election years.
Finance Regulation: The Electoral Commission should propose that parliament considers a regulation on political party finances. Such a regulation would provide accountability to voters on how parties and candidates acquire the financial means to run campaigns.
Political Parties’ Code of Conduct: The Electoral Commission should put forward a code of conduct for political parties to strengthen respect for common rules and standards during the electoral campaign.
Development of Voter Education: Effective voter education programmes should be developed and implemented well ahead of elections to increase the level of understanding of the electoral process, thereby reducing the number of invalid votes. The involvement of non-governmental organisations would contribute to the effectiveness of such campaigns.
Annual Updates of Register of Voters: Implementation of the annual update of Register of Voters in accordance with the Electoral Act requirement, and the institution of a permanent and public voters’ database would improve the quality of
the electoral roll. Political parties should be given the opportunity to observe all stages of the updating of the register.
Procedural Improvements: The numbers of forms used by election officials during voting and counting should be reduced and procedures simplified in order to develop a more straightforward and accountable system.
Voter Intention: The Electoral Act should be amended to strengthen the provision on voter intention by accepting a tick below the line as a valid selection. This would also help reduce the number of invalid votes.
Ballot Paper Design: Ballot papers should be redesigned with a simplified layout to reduce voters’ mistakes. One approach might be to abolish the system of above and below the line marking. Instead, voters could either mark a single box for a party or indicate their order of preference for candidates by ranking their selection with numbers. The use of the three main languages on the ballot papers, instead of just one, would also facilitate better voter understanding.
Postal Voting Reforms: The application for postal ballots and the postal voting in person should end before the first day of normal polling. The postal voting procedures should be improved, particularly in relation to reconciliation and security, to achieve a more transparent and accountable system.
Reduction in Polling Days: The number of polling days should be gradually and substantially reduced to eventually allow voting to be concluded in just one day. This should mean improved efficiency and accountability. By diminishing the number of transport days and the need for overnight storage of materials, security would also be improved.
Polling Station Reforms: Voters should be able to vote only in an allocated polling station which should be located only in public buildings. This would reduce the number of ballot papers needed, reduce the number of ballot boxes and increase the accountability of the process. The OSE could display all relevant data in each polling station at the end of each polling day. This form could also be distributed to party agents and observers.
Training of Electoral Staff: The introduction of more effective training for polling and counting staff would lead to a more uniform implementation of procedures. The adoption of accurate and user-friendly training manuals would allow staff to develop an improved understanding of procedures.


Handling of Election Complaints: A clear procedural set up for the handling of complaints is essential to establish accountability of the Electoral Commission and the OSE and could be implemented at all levels of the election administration. A register of complaints in concert with a timely settlement of formal protests from the level of polling station up to the Electoral Commission is crucial to promote transparency of the process.
Public Information Policy: Decisions and minutes of the Electoral Commission and OSE meetings should be published and made easily accessible and available on an official website. Election results should also be published on the web page as soon as they have been announced. In addition, the transparency of the counting process would benefit by the distribution to voters, political parties and observers of a list of the ballot box numbers, along their seal numbers, before the formal start of counting.
Electoral Campaign Period: The introduction of a specific day and hour for the start and end of the electoral campaign would allow political parties, candidates and media to know when campaign rules take effect.
Training of Party Agents: More effective training for party agents on voting and counting procedures would increase their efficacy. Non-governmental organisations and the OSE should be more involved in providing electoral training to political parties.
Domestic Observers: The involvement of national observers from non-governmental organisations would enhance voters’ confidence in the process.


Ballot Boxes: To increase security, the old wooden ballot boxes need to be replaced with translucent environmentally friendly plastic ballot boxes sealed exclusively with numbered plastic seals.
Storage Facilities: Polling and counting agents should be able to observe at any given time the transfer of ballot boxes and the storage facilities.


Media Guidelines: The OSE’s guidelines for media coverage of electoral campaigns should be issued well ahead of the start of the campaigns.
Media Training: More effective training for journalists is advisable to improve the quality and accuracy of reporting and develop more analytical coverage of the electoral process.
Media Legal Framework: A revision of the Broadcasting Commission Act 1953 is required, as well as the introduction of an information law to regulate more extensively the electronic media.

Again, we repeat and challenge Fiji’s “Squealer” and his dictator piglet to provide evidence where the European Union Report had recommended that the military should seize power in December 2006 and turn the country into Animal Farm, to be ruled by decrees, fear, violence, and all other violations that have been taking place since 2006?

Editor's Note: See below the statement released by the regime on UN offer to send assesment team


Monday, February 6, 2012

Prophet Day offerings

Frank Bainimarama's rather expansive speech to mark Muhammad's Day and a blogger's rather cautionary piece on what he says is 'the Muslim colonisation of Fiji'

Today we celebrate the birth, life and immense spiritual influence of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Prophet Muhammad lived a life of obedience to God, and taught the universal principles we all hold close: love, unity, tolerance and respect.
His teachings are the bedrock of Islam, and they transcend all cultures, societies and religions. These are indeed the same values all Fijians hold paramount.
Remembering the day of Muhammad’s birth is therefore a time for all Fijians to reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that faith confers upon each one of us, the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God.
Universal respect for each other, regardless of our race, religion and culture is a blessing shared by all of us.
This is a time to offer appreciation for the support Islam asks us to provide and the responsibility to advance opportunity and prosperity for people everywhere.
This a time to reflect within, envisioning the world we want to build – and the changes that we want to make.
This must begin in our own hearts, our own communities and be nourished by our faith.
In recent weeks, Fijians have expressed their respect and care for one another as we help each other in the face of devastating weather-giving to each other in a time of need.
We must sustain our faith, patience and love during the months and years ahead as Fiji moves together to a new, common future.
We are all Fijians. And today, we are all united in celebrating the principles of the Islamic faith, which contributes to our communities and our country.

Fiji is going through a false scenario of reforms and modernization to have a new Fiji. This was reiterated by the PM in his address during the November 2012 budget. Sadly it is bound to end up with civilization with darkness.
The truth is Muslims, through Aiyaz Sayed Kaiyum, is colonizing Fiji. They are deceiving the people of Fiji using nice phrases and words such as modernization, a new Fiji without corruption, transparency, fairness to justify their staying in power. Look at what has been happening:
  1. Muslim riding hard on power (RFMF)
  2. Rule by decree
  3. Increase in the number of key positions in government being given to Muslims or those supporting Khaiyum
  4. Weakening of Fijian institutions and culture and land ownership
  5. Nepotism
  6. Recruiting of non-Fijians, especially kaivalagis, to weaken Fijian's capabilities
Wake up Fiji. Wake up to the radical changes in our beloved peaceful and friendly country. Regrettably, Banimarama will not do anything: only he knows why it is Yes sir, three bags full Sir!

Khaiyum plays dumb over New Zealand Law Society ad ban

Five years and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum still doesn't get that New Zealand will not support the illegal regime. He's pissed the New Zealand Law Society won't advertise Fiji vacancies and accuses it of being 'obtuse'. What he doesn't want to accept is that New Zealand will never endorse him and Bainimarama's illegal rule, no matter how much they try to dress us 'reforms' as 'independent'. This false outrage from today's Fiji Sun over the principled stand by the New Zealand Law Society not to take blood money.

“We have had NZ lawyers work over the past few years in Fiji and indeed the DPP (Christopher Pryde) himself is a New Zealander. It is very childish and very ironical that NZLS talks about principles and values. 

"One of which I assume would be freedom of access to information, freedom of movement, yet they want to disallow their members’ access to information to make an informed decision on whether they want to move to Fiji or not.

“They are depriving individual lawyers in NZ the access to lawyers. I am sure individual members of the New Zealand legal fraternity are intelligent enough to make their own decision. Why should NZLS control such information, it is very ironical? 

"They accuse the Bainimarama Government of depriving people of information when that is in fact not the case. But it is most definitely the case with NZLS as far as them not allowing members to access information regarding jobs in Fiji,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that NZLS has not been able to view Fiji independently, and was influenced by their government’s stance regarding Fiji.

“It is most unfortunate that the NZLS has not been able to put themselves in a position where they have even tried to, in a very genuine manner to ascertain the ground reality in Fiji. They have essentially followed the foreign policy of their government. 

"They have essentially relied on the misrepresentation of the Fijian Government and particularly the Fijian legal system.

“It is rather spurious and indeed rather obtuse for NZLS to disallow an advertisement, and that too a paid advertisement, giving the NZ lawyers an opportunity to work in Fiji, in the DPP’s office."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Zealand Law Society refuses to advertise Fiji vacancies

The New Zealand Law Society's magazine, Law Talk, is refusing to advertise vacant positions in the legal profession in Fiji.
Fiji Village is reporting that the office of the Director of Public Prosectuions has been informed by email that under the military regime, the New Zealand Law Society will not accept advertisements for legal positions.

It quotes Christopher Pryde as saying "it is unfortunate that the NZLS is involving itself in politics and preventing New Zealand lawyers from hearing about job vacancies in Fiji."

Pryde insists the Officer of the DPP is independent, non-political and that the DPP has the sole responsibility for criminal prosecutions in Fiji without recourse to any Government minister, including the military appointed attorney general.

Pryde is aquoted as saying his invitation to the NZLS still stands and they are welcome to visit Fiji to meet and talk to anyone without restriction so that they can obtain for themselves a first hand appraisal of things in Fiji.