#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fijim media has way to go before it can 'report fairly' on election

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fijim media has way to go before it can 'report fairly' on election

Fiji’s Press Freedom Day: self-censorship continues

By Professor Wadan Narsey

As part of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations, the USP School of Journalism (headed by Pat Craddock) held a Panel Discussion at USP on Friday 2 May 2014, to discuss the topic “Media Freedom and the Fiji General Election”. 

This certainly was progress of sorts in Fiji, in the run-up to the elections planned for September.  But who would have thought that the media reports on the panel discussion would themselves illustrate very clearly how self-censorship continues in Fiji, quite contrary to the MIDA Chairman’s guarantee of protection of the media?

Panelists included Ricardo Morris (publisher of the Republika), Seona Smiles (former Fiji Times senior reporter),  Netani Rika (former editor of Fiji Times), Rachna Lal (senior journalist from Fiji Sun), and Ashwin Raj, Chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA).

PANEL CHAIR: Stanley Simpson at centre.
The chairperson of the panel was Stanley Simpson, former journalist and a former graduate of the USP Journalism program.

Quite interesting for journalists and media outlets was the MIDA Chairman’s declaration that he would protect journalists who remained true to their journalism ethics and reported freely without fear or favor.

Mr Ashwin Raj came across as honestly and earnestly attempting to fulfill his duties to the best of his ability,  under the existing media laws.

But the self-censored reporting of Fiji’s Press Freedom Day also showed that the media editors simply do not believe the assertion by the Chairman of MIDA that he would protect them if they reported fearlessly and fairly.

Critical views censored

Despite the MIDA Chairman’s statements that he would protect the media, the newspapers and television gave very little coverage to some of the more sensitive and critical views of the panelists.

Neither did they give any coverage to the four critical questions of a professor  (who has written extensively on media censorship in Fiji) who tried to focus the panel on the topic they had been given- the role of the media in the coming elections:

1.         Following on from Mr Ashwin Raj’s declaration that media freedom could not be discussed without a thorough understanding of nature of media ownership, the questioner asked the panel how the media owners could allow their journalists to be fearless in their questioning, when the media owners were not dedicated media operators, but had much wider and more important commercial interests which could be hurt badly by discretionary policies of a hostile government.  How indeed could MIDA address the problem of vulnerable media ownership, over which issue it had no legal powers?

2.         How could one newspaper report honestly and without fear, when its editor was under a 6 month suspended jail sentence; its owner had been given massive fines over arguably trivial offences; and who remained outside of Fiji while a bench warrant had been issued against him on another minor charge; how could one television station report fearlessly when its license was renewed only a six-monthly basis, clearly intended to be an intimidating measure?

3.         How could the voters in the election be educated about the relative merits of competing political parties, when both daily newspapers refused to print most of the critical Letters which subjected the government of the day to greater scrutiny?  Why indeed did MIDA allow this media censorship to continue?

Mr Ashwin Raj informed the audience that he had asked the newspaper editors to explain why they published some Letters and not others, but to date, he had received no answer from any of them although several weeks had passed).

Ms Rachna Lal (of the Fiji Sun), when pressed, also said that she did not know why some of the Professor’s letters were not printed despite being relevant to the issues considered important in the elections.

4.         The professor informed the panel that while acts of censorship (such as being banned as Chief Guest at the 2013 World Press Freedom event at USP, or being “disinvited” as Chief Guest at the 2013 Fiji Food Security Day celebrations) were quite obvious to the public, but how could the MIDA Chairman address the far more subtle forms of censorship, such as being silently excluded from the public policy arena since 2009 by all the media (except The Fiji Times in the last three weeks)?

These questions, while extremely pertinent to media freedom and the forthcoming elections, were not reported by the print media, nor even by Fiji TV, even though it had a special Close Up program on the  Panel Discussion.

The MIDA Chairman needs to ask himself why the media did not take up his challenge to be courageous in reporting fairly and freely, despite his promised protection.

Stanley Simpson, a less than neutral chair

One member of the audience accused the organizers of the panel discussion of only inviting Bainimarama Government sympathizers to be on the panel. 

MIDA CHAIR: Ashwin Raj second to right.
That view was not correct given the quite critical views expressed by panelists  Ricardo Morris, Seona Smiles and Netani Rika, although Ms Rachna Lal expressed her newspaper’s (Fiji Sun’s) broad support for the Bainimarama Government.

However, some questions may be leveled at the chairman of the panel, Stanley Simpson and the organizer of the panel discussion, Mr Pat Craddock.

Simpson was  not the humble investigative journalist of old, but a new personality arrogantly exuding power, who made no bones about wanting to limit critical questions and comments from the floor.

One senior professor, who was fooled for a moment into thinking that the use of his first name by the Chairman indicated some old friendship, was quickly disabused of that notion when the chair tried to shut him down while he was asking his questions.

Simpson made no effort to remind the MIDA Chairman to answer the uncomfortable questions put to him from the floor, although Mr Ashwin Raj, to his credit, insisted on answering them at the end of the discussion.

Simpson also arrogantly threatened the audience that he would close down the panel discussion if there continued to be interjections from the floor, as there was from a rather passionate  lady, who objected to the event being dominated by long responses from one panelist, while the audience could not get a word in edge-ways.

Stanley Simpson has also become the Interim Secretary of the newly formed Fijian Media Association for journalists, until they elect their new officials.

A cautious Head of Journalism?

A more interesting unasked question was why Mr Pat Craddock did not invite any academics to be on his panel discussion, whether from the School of Journalism itself, or from the small group of other USP academics who have written much about media freedom and censorship.

Well known to Mr Craddock would have been a Professor of Economics who has written many criticisms of media censorship in Fiji, censored from the Fiji media,  but available on international outlets such as  Cafe Pacific, run by David Robie and his School of Journalism at Auckland University of Technology

Many articles critical of media censorship have therefore had to be published on my  personal blog https://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/ and other blogs.

Mr Craddock would have been aware that this Professor was banned last year by the USP management, from being a Chief Guest at the Journalism students’ celebration of World Press Freedom Day.  Did he think that inviting this person to be on the 2014 panel discussion might raise the ire of USP management?

Perhaps Craddock was also aware that a previous Head of Journalism (Marc Edge) had fallen foul of the Bainimarama Government, so did he err on the side of caution in not inviting the same critical academic critic to be on the panel?

Whatever the mix of reasons, it leaves Mr Pat Craddock, the new stop-gap Head of Journalism, vulnerable to criticism that he is not averse to practicing self-censorship on Fiji’s Press Freedom Day, just like the media owners and journalists.

While the Head of the USP School of Journalism can take some credit for being able to put on a well-publicized and critical panel discussion,  Fiji’s Press Freedom has some way to go before it can be the fearless and fair reporter of elections issues, that the MIDA Chairman (Mr Ashwin Raj) wants it to be.


Anonymous said...

It is really hard to understand that iTaukei give away their land. But it is definitely happening. Khaiyum and his family will laugh all the way to the bank – not the land bank mind you, the banks in Hong Kong, Dubai and other places where aunty Nur transfers the kick backs from the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Khaiyum has stolen millions from the people of Fiji and they continue to do so through corrupt practices orchestrated through Khaiyum’s corrupt aunty Nur Bano Ali and her husband. The Auditor General is not allowed to report on it to the people including the deal surrounding the sale of Rewa Dairy to CJ Patel, who also owns the Fiji Sun.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Where is Baghdad Bob when they need him? Or Suva's version, Graham Davis?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's prime minister was ordered by a court to step down Wednesday in a divisive ruling that handed a victory to anti-government protesters who have staged six months of street protests — but does little to resolve the country's political crisis.
Related Stories

Court forces out Thai leader, but crisis continues Associated Press
Thai PM faces legal showdown in power abuse case Associated Press
Embattled Thai PM testifies in abuse of power case Associated Press
Thai court orders PM to step down, prolongs political crisis Reuters
Court Orders Thailand's Prime Minister to Resign After Months of Turmoil The Atlantic Wire

The Constitutional Court found Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abusing her power by transferring a senior civil servant in 2011 to another position. It ruled that the transfer was carried out to benefit her politically powerful family and, therefore, violated the constitution — an accusation she has denied.

The ruling also forced out nine Cabinet members but left nearly two dozen other ministers in their posts, including Deputy Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, who was quickly appointed the new acting leader.

Anonymous said...

"Transferring government officials must be done in accordance with moral principle," the court said in its ruling, read aloud on live television for almost 90 minutes. "Transferring with a hidden agenda is not acceptable."

Anonymous said...

Vinaka Professor Narsey for standing up for freedom. This lawlessness has to stop.


It appears Ashwin Raj is paid two salaries – a full USP salary and a MIDA salary. It seems he spends at least half his time doing MIDA work. His MIDA workload will likely increase with the looming election. How will Ashwin Raj do justice to his USP work when half his time is spent on MIDA work? This is double-dipping. Why isn't VC Rajesh Chandra taking action? USP under Rajesh Chandra is subsidising the work of MIDA and financially supporting an illegal regime. Regional taxpayers and USP students are being short-changed by the USP Vice-Chancellor. Shame on you Mr 'President' and Vice-Chancellor of USP. Yet again, you have failed USP students and the region's taxpayers with your poor leadership in this matter.

Dharam said...

The sooner these two criminals Baimagasona and Aiyarsehole are eliminated the better for Fiji.

Anonymous said...

The Auditor General's reports are key to revealing the true extent of Khaiyum and Bainimarama's large-scale looting and corruption. But the reports are banned from being published and, in addition, the public accounts committee, who oversee public expenditure, was dissolved. This has all been done to hide the truth about Bainimarama and Khaiyum’s illegal appropriation and expenditure of public funds, which includes:
Bainimarama’s multiple salaries
Khaiyum’s multiple salaries
Salaries of Permanent Secretaries
Military expenditure
Payments of Ministers' salaries to Nur Bano Ali’s accounting firm
Sale of Rewa Dairy to CJ Patel
Use of cheap Chinese loans
plus much more.

Journalism student said...

It has taken two expatriates Pat Craddock and Matthew Thomson to bring back some respectability to USP by organising an interesting media seminar. Last time we organised a seminar and invited Dr Wadan Narsey but it was blocked by Professor Sudesh Mishra who boasted he is champion of academic freedom. Sudesh Mishra is full of shit.

Anonymous said...

Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) - A new Boko Haram massacre has killed hundreds in Nigeria's northeast, a senator said Wednesday, as police offered $300,000 dollars for information leading to the rescue of more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by the Islamists.

Anonymous said...

It would be funny if it wasn't so mind boggling. With reports in social media that the Fiji First Party Vice President Bijai Prasad is a convicted felon, the Fiji Times sees it is important to plaster the front page in today's Times with the current Asthama problems in Fiji. I AM asthmatic but I would rather know the issues facing the fragile state of politics and elections in Fiji rather than how to treat asthma.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Worth repeating in any discussion of Fiji media is this past statement on C4.5 by Dakuwaqa:

"Media do need to be more responsible. In most free countries, that is achieved through libel laws, peer review, and high standards of journalistic ethics.

"In Fiji, those who want to follow events have little choice but to turn to blogs. Yes, blogs are notoriously poor sources of information, but they're more reliable than Fiji's newspapers. What does that tell you about the current health of Fiji's press?

"Indeed, were this the first Easter Sunday, I would expect that only bloggers would have reported the Resurrrection. The Fiji Sun would have printed the guards' version of events exclusively, whilst the Fiji Times would merely have made passing mention of the earthquake."

Neocolonialism by ABC and Sean Dorney said...

My view of Ashwin Raj changed after I attended the seminar at USP. He is right. Sean Dorney's drunken behaviour in new Caledonia was disgraceful. How can he judge mood of entire nation based on the atmosphere in room with a handful of journalists? How patronising it that?

Ashwin is absolutely correct. Not only is this neocolonialism, it is lazy, gutter level journalism. As Ashwin said, Fiji is is in a delicate, transitional phase. We don't need cavalier journalists like Sean Dorney.

We heard earlier reports that Sean Dorney was slightly drunk, wagging his fingers at a PINA representative, and threatening to use his connections to withdraw aid from PINA. Typical Australian bullying.

Is this how ABC journalists on assignment behave? Problem is ABC tried to save money by sending Sean both as reporter and PINA delegate. We suffer the consequences of this gross ethical breach by ABC.

The biggest injustice is that Sean Dorney is still covering Fiji despite his obvious bias and emotional outburst. So much for ethics. Shame on you ABC.

No wonder you in trouble with your government. Clean up your shit before talking about running workshops in Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should be free to speak and Sean Dorney should not be denied. Everyone should be free to speak and provide coverage on Fiji.
It seems anyone who speaks against the regime are not allowed. Ashwin you are warned when the time right you better find a place to hide.

Anonymous said...

@2.01pm neocolonialsm by ABC, Sean Dorney obviously can't get over his ban from Fiji. This is reflected in his journalism, and his abhorrent behaviour in New Caledonia. ABC please do the right thing and save your reputation. Pull Sean Dorney out of Fiji coverage. Give us someone unbiased, unemotionally involved, and with a fresh perspective. Sean Dorney's coverage is biased, vindictive, boring and predictable.

Anonymous said...

Bijai Prasad-the chor-was defended in the High Court by his drinking mates--Lawyers Rishi Shankar and Ram Krishna--one hiding in NZ,the other in the UK.Ram Krishna--went and gave evidence in the box too--to no avail.

Anonymous said...

Great job by Wadan Narsey exposing the dark underbelly of Fiji media and academia, including USP.

Anonymous said...

Fiji shares a fundamental problem with its Pacific island neighbours: The population does not really embrace western style democracy. There is a widespread acceptance that the “Chief” rules, whether this chief has obtained power through hereditary succession, strong arm power grabs, political corruption or military coups. In contrast to most of its neighbours, Fiji’s poor democratic record is exacerbated by the existence of a overblown military which was boosted by the UN and never had any genuine role in protecting Fiji’s borders. In such an environment, it is only natural that military officers with overblown egos step into the role of the “Chief” because they can do so with impunity. The population bows to the new chief, aiming to be on the winners side and obtain some benefits from being obedient and accommodating. Add poor education and a general indolence and a picture of today’s Fiji emerges. The electorate sees the tussles between regime and opposition as nothing more than a bit of entertainment with an opportunity to indulge in a little bit of backstabbing come election day. The political elite that has been removed by military leaders has higher stakes as access to unearned income is all of a sudden denied. In Fiji, there are two reactions to this: Go over to the winner (as Chaudhry did in 2007) or beg the “International Community” to re-install them in positions of power. Against this background, there is little or no hope that the 2014 elections in Fiji produce any other result than the confirmation of the rule of the coup makers; in particular as the regime has pulled out all the stops to cripple the opposition. What is truly amazing is the fact that several opposition parties have decided to participate in the charade, knowing full well how this exercise in “true democracy” is being orchestrated by the regime.

Anonymous said...

I am now very clear that last coup was about saving baini and now saving all his cronies. Fiji should accept a culture of rigged election ,that's what will happen.or all going to gail

Anonymous said...

Just watching Fiji 1 news. Funny how when ASK talks without a script he sounds like a total dim wit. Poor fellow. You cant fool all the people all of the time. Please for the love of god have a public debate.

Just a thought said...

I think it's all very well to praise Wadan about his stories but I would personally like to see more constructive comments about the regime and how we can expose them for their corruption and hypocrisy as the previous C4.5 story has done. Exposure has never been more critical.

Suomynona said...

The Media decree given out by the regime is a real joke since its nowhere near freedom of speech and expression since it greatly restricts information that may expose AK-47 and Frankie's dark secrets.

No wonder why Fiji Times is always fronting the courts for supposed contempt when its just doing its job unlike all the propaganda in the Fiji Sun.

Any exposure from the press without the intimidation or fear is quite valuable as explained in the article.

FIJI SUN said...

Khaiyum include photo and and party symbol on ballot paper.Why you try to dig up the dead bones of past and lay judges on old practise.Give us our fair share and peace of mind we want to enjoy coming to the poll and be stress free in choosing whom we want,and not frustrating well before trying to remember all those f...678....g numbers!!
The FIJI SUN is already shining on your asss.We are on Fiji Times.

High Tea said...

BINGO! Anonymous 4:17 PM nailed it perfectly.

Now add the media element. The media in Fiji is thoroughly amateurish and immature. Objective reporting isn't even attempted. The watchdog role of the media is kaput. All critics of the military government have been driven away, with PR hacks brought in as substitutes. The result is volley after volley of poison pen character assassinations between expelled sour grapes journalists like Marc Edge and prostituted Qorvis apologists like Graham Davis.

The postings by "Neocolonialism by ABC" are a case in point. Posing as a journalistic peer of Dorney, the polemicist can't even decide whether Dorney was "slightly drunk" or disgracefully so. Borrowing a page from Shaista Shameen's playbook, he levels the usual defence used by tinpot dictatorships all around the world of "neocolonialism, bullying and bias". This is bitterly ironic coming from someone who is probably a non-Fijian carpetbagger employed by Fiji's bullies to be their spin doctor.

Anonymous 2:36 has the right approach. Everyone should be allowed to cover Fiji. Over time, the truth should theoretically emerge from the welter of conflicting viewpoints. It's awfully hard for that to happen in a small island media market where the muckrakers and mugwumps have been pushed from the scene, leaving the industry in the grip of rank opportunists and mercenary shills.

Anonymous said...

High Tea, you missed the gist of the message. That's the problem when you too busy splitting hairs, being pedantic and over smart over the trivial factd and miss the bigger picture.

Neocolonialism by ABC makes perfect sense to me. Also obvious to me is that Sean Dorney is a compromised journalist. Also very clear is the fact that ABC was in breach of journalistic ethics by allowing Sean to be both a delegate and also report on PINA.

Doesn't mean we are in the Pacific we have to accept conflict of interest and double standards. ABC is in trouble with its government - it's a fact. Anyone can report on Fiji as long as it doesn't get personal as in Dorney's case.

When it gets personal, journalists are taken off the assignment. Didn't happen in Sean Dorney's case. Shows sloppy standards at ABC. maybe that's why they in trouble at home. Ashwin and Matai did well to put Dorney in his place.

Gunu Dra said...


Anonymous said...

The indigenous of Fiji were colonized by the British. Now they are economically and culturally colonized. WHAT A FUCK UP

Anonymous said...

I am glad more people are talking about the pretense of an election. We must mobilise to have an interim administration to manage the transition into true democracy. All these talk about parties and media are useful, but there is no sense going into an election when the results are already a given. Why on earth are political parties still playing into the hands of these criminals when all evidence points to a clear charade. Please Fiji, lets demand that the regime step aside. A new INTERIM ADMINISTRATION MUST TAKE OVER FROM HEREON. No more talking about elections until we have a free and fair playing ground.

Anonymous said...

Cmon guys...Ive heard frm 2010 onwards..that elections will be held in 2014....isn't this wat the freedom fighters on this website were fighting for,,a return to democracy. Cant win them all...

Anonymous said...

Clearly 12.16 AM and 5.45 AM are blogging from overseas.

We in Fiji support Bainimarama 110%, you ppl overseas just talk on issues with your new country stay the phuck off our Fiji issues. Otherwise move back to Fiji and talk..

A little bit of pink rule said...

@12:16 AM
With due respect, I think that we have to forget about having an interim government now. We also have to forget about having fair elections, just like we have to forget about having a fair society where men and women are de facto equal. We certainly have to forget about having violence as well, Nelson Mandela told us why during his lifetime.

I can only see the pink bula shirts "new fashion" strategy proposed by mysterious feminists as a solution. It is my belief that we will have to reconcile with each other in the future. It is also my belief that all those who have taken part in coups, or even supported directly or indirectly any coup, should lead by example and start wearing a pink bula shirt.

It is my belief that the Great Council of Chiefs shall come back, provided that all of them always wear pink bula shirts, never ask money from their folks for their meetings and play a central role in the national reconciliation process.

It is my belief that the next election shall be diverted into a referendum where the courage of our people will have to be displayed by wearing a pink bula shirt so that the results shall be transparent to everybody.

It is my belief that Bainimarama, Rabuka and Speight shall all become free man, free from any sort of threats and protected in order to prevent our nation to fall down.

A pink bula shirt is the only way forward, any other avenue is extremely uncertain.

I shall finish by saying that Mr. Narsey has written a lot of papers and books on gender issues and would be granted free pink bula shirts for life.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8.49 While you are entitled to your opinion and you have the freedom to express such an opinion, it does not necessarily give you the licence to say whatever you want. Our freedoms must be exercised wisely.

Your comment is very childish and void of any serious thought and value befitting a serious topic about our human rights, nation building and good governance. This is the trouble when simple minds and idiots try and speak to topics beyond their intellectual grasp. Take your beliefs and shove them in the toilet where they belong. You must be one of Voreqe's blind followers, just as stupid and foolish. We will march and tell you people in the face that we have had enough of Voreqe's criminal thuggery. We want our country back. You go and tell him that and wait for us during the day of the march. Be careful where you stand and whom you stand with and what you stand for. God's judgement is swift but sure. Now digest on that.

A little bit of pink rule said...

@9:11 AM

what a violent reply. How can you dare to refer to God and insult and threaten people in the same little childish outburst? You have nothing to do with God, unless you are talking about one of the old Fijian gods of the prehistoric days.

Your language is indeed fool and so is your reasoning...there is no way you can accomplish what you want through violence, that's for sure. I can't digest your crap, I would have an indigestion.

Anonymous said...


freeing George Speight AND being a Bainimarama follower is difficult to conceive... to bring back the GCC AND being a Bainimarama follower is just as hard to conceive!

think twice...or even more than twice...before saying "whatever you want".

You are no different from the ANC party members in South Africa when they were trying to convince Mandela to resort to violence. You have the same low IQ. Next time, try to be logic in your godly insults.

There is a way out said...

@9.11am God's judgment - as you said - will be made after we're dead, you don't have any permission to "execute" divine authority.

"take your beliefs and shove them in the toilet where they belong." If Nelson Mandela had followed your divine advice, South Africa will have become just like Ukraine or Sierra Leone and Liberia, where our Fijian soldiers and policemen and policewomen are posted.

It is clear that each side will have to follow a reconciliation path like the one that happened in South Africa. It means for Bainimarama to accept the "unthinkable" like giving freedom to Speight (he must have changed a lot during all those years!) and presenting his matanigasau to the GCC.... and vice versa. Forgiveness is the Holy and Godly way, not your petty insults that will convince only the most prehistoric men of us.

Anonymous said...

anon 6.24am
madachod - I am in fiji and repeat,,,,under your imposed govt which came in via criminal treason, the indigenous have become culturally and economically colonised - thats why you are now a Fijian too! Boci

Anonymous said...


The change of party leader within the People’s Democratic Party has not gone well with everyone. Dickie Bird said those who had supported Adi Sivia Qoro were not happy with the sudden change of events and are contemplating of joining other parties. Already two former PDP members have confirmed their allegiance to the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).

Anonymous said...

PDP is Fix It Anthony and his family and friends. All good ones are gone. What FLP to to Chodhry, PDP is to Anthony.

High Tea said...

Anon 10:35, I got the message perfectly. I just happen to disagree. I think Fiji has muzzled too many journalists already, thank you.

Your repeated allegation that ABC breached journalistic ethics by using Dorney as both a PINA delegate and a journalist is a far stretch. Why shouldn't a reporter accredited to a meeting of journalists be allowed to report on the meeting?

And what a picayune issue to focus on, given the censorship and gross suppression of the press in Fiji over the past several years -- suppression often dishonestly justified in the name of "resisting neocolonialism".

You make blithe accusations against Dorney that you say are perfectly clear to you, but you offer nothing in support of your allegations to convince the rest of us. They include some very inflammatory charges, most of which seem based on hearsay; it isn't splitting hairs to point out the inconsistencies and contradictions in these remarks.

You say Dorney should have been taken off assignment because he had gotten "too personal". By this criterion should you not be enjoined from ever writing about Dorney again, since you've obviously become "too personal" and affected by your resentment of the man?

It isn't neo-colonialism to defend press freedom. And media responsibility shouldn't be conflated with conformity and obsequiousness, especially in a society led by a government that is illegitimate and unaccountable.

Anonymous said...

The entire opposition should unite behind SODELPA. Like Mick Beddos, I was never an SDL supporter, but I support SODELPA. Ro Teimumu is clearly our strongest candidate against the dictator. We need to bury our differences and unite behind her.

Anonymous said...

Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the ANC. That's why he was imprisoned. It isn't accurate to say that he stood for non-violence. In fact, he led the bombing campaign against the British. But it is true that he sought to minimise casualties and ultimately became a national force for unity as his country's Great Reconciler.

Dress in pink. Chant the predictions of Nostradamus. Hold a Womens Only rally if you want, but the call for an interim administration is naive nonsense. This regime won't give up power voluntarily. It must be wrested from it.

Anonymous said...

Good points raised High Tea, except that unlike you, I do not take media or media freedom at face value. I do not take media reports at face value either, especially judgements made about entire country based on feelings of a roomful of journalists, which is laughable.

How in touch are ABC journalists with the true feelings of the common people, and are these represented in their reports?

What do the polls say? Who do you believe, a handful of journos or the polls? are journalists reflecting the views of the people? Or are their imposing their views, ideas and ideology because they ave the means to do so?

Are the journos talking to the ordinary people - they make up the bulk of the population and face the most problems.

I think not. media, as always, represents the elite views, in this case the views of the minority who have access to internet. The main source of the international media are the blogs. Which is the easy and lazy form of journalism.

I am not at all a coup supporter, but I do not see the media as faultless, blameless and sinless either. I have lived in Fiji for 60yrs. I do not need Seam Dorney telling me from Australia what is going on here, even if you do.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anon12.26pm on ABC colonialism. If a reporter can cover and event and be a delegate, than why complain about Sayed-Khaiyum being minister of election? Of course same rules do not apply to media. Media is famous for breaking its own rules when it suites them, and wanting its to have their cake and eat it too. They are well known for using media freedom to excuse all sorts of abuses.

High Tea said...

Anonymous 12:26 PM, I wish I could return the compliment; however, your points are entirely without merit.

Where did I ever claim the media is faultless, blameless and sinless? Where did I indicate that I rely on Sean Dorney to tell me what's happening here? If you're not going to address my arguments, at least have the courtesy not to misrepresent them.

You equate Dorney with Sayed-Khaiyum -- never flattering in any context, but also entirely unfair in this one. ASK acting as Minister of Elections whilst heading up Bainimarama's election effort is both illegal (even treasonous) and a clear conflict of interest. Sean Dorney reporting on a conference to which he was also a delegate isn't illegal in the least, nor do I see how it is improper, much less a conflict of interest. Apparently you don't, either, or you would have explained it instead of resorting to the false analogy with ASK.

I don't know how in touch ABC journos are with the common people, but neither do you, obviously. And if you put any credence in the Fiji Sun poll, then you are beyond gullible, and it is you who would be taking media reports at face value without talking to the common people.

Yes, the media is controlled by elites, but in Fiji's case, the Internet and the Internet alone is (mostly) beyond the monopolistic control of the illegal regime, whilst virtually all other forms of media in Fiji are firmly controlled by ASK. The Internet caters to the relatively elite minority with access to Internet, it is true, but it remains outside the control of the inveterate liars in Suva euphemistically termed "the government of the day".

I would certainly put my faith in a handful of reporters who stand beyond the regime's reach before I'd ever trust a poll by today's Fiji Sun. I also know that for all of its unreliability, we will sooner encounter the truth on the Internet than we will in a MINFO release.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:26, you say you're not a coup supporter. ASK could make the same claim.

So could Graham Davis. It seems you're both the same age -- maybe you even share the same birthday!

So that doesn't mean that you're not a supporter of the traitors now ruling Fiji.

I'm not a coup supporter normally, either. But I would welcome a coup if it would bring Bainimarama and his co-treasonists to the bar of justice and restore constitutional government to Fiji.

O kitou qoi said...

FORMER prime minister and leader of the SDL party Laisenia Qarase has joined the chorus of voices calling on the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to step down as Elections Minister following the announcement of his role as the proposed general secretary of the proposed Fiji First Party.

Mr Qarase also downplayed suggestions by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum that he was a minister responsible for elections during his tenure. Mr Qarase was responding to a statement by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum earlier this week that Mr Qarase was "the minister responsible for elections for the 2001 elections".

"Ministers have been responsible for the Elections Office. Did the NFP say it was a conflict of interest? Did the Labour Party then say it was a conflict of interest? Who was the minister responsible for elections for the 2001 elections? Laisenia Qarase! Did the NFP or Labour say it was a conflict of interest?" Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Mr Qarase expressed disappointment, claiming that since independence in 1970, there had never been a Minister for Elections. "The reason for this is that both the Electoral Commission and the Office of the Supervisor of Elections must carry out their functions within the laws regulating their operations, with complete independence and without interference from the government in power," he said.

"The issue is that of a serious conflict of interest. The people of Fiji have a right to insist that this is not acceptable in a free and fair election.

"Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said his position is no different from what has been the practice in the past. When I was prime minister, for example, I was also leader of the SDL party. While this information is correct the truth is that I was never Minister for Elections."

"Mr Sayed-Khaiyum exercises the power of this portfolio as a member of a government with no legal or popular mandate, no accountability and no parliamentary oversight. This is the crux of his problem and public concerns about his role."

Another former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry last night echoed similar sentiments, that there had never been an Elections Minister before.
Fuk this shit wats happening in the fuking government someone should shoot this Kaiyum bastard

Anonymous said...

Why do we need another UN ambassador in Geneva?
There is a UN rep in Brussels, a UN rep in New York.

Geneva, is in Switzerland, where the all famous bank for the world's crooks keep their money away. They have tarnished the reputation of this famous bank by sending their dirty money to be kept there.
From Fiji, some dirty money has been sent there with an illegal ambassador to guard.
The ambassador needs to 'clean-up' her legal mess here. We all remember the terms, doctrine of necessity, extra ordinary power of the president, emergency powers, etc.etc.
The new illegal ambassador is a shame to the justice system here.
She knows why and how the 2006 CJ was sacked. She was an engineer, she is the architect of the regime's decrees. She is the consultant.
Why not to Malaysia or the United Emirates?, because there is a deeply rooted reason that most of the army boys do not have a clue.

Anonymous said...

Mosese Tikoitoga should take-over
the Government,setup an interim
Government to take Fiji to the
General Election? Arrest Gates,Bhai,Khai,Barno,Shamimilevu,
and others?

Anonymous said...

What's the matter, Anon 12:26? Can't rebut High Tea, or is it simply that you're unable to deny that you support the traitors now ruling Fiji?

Friends of Fiji Media hypocrites said...

The editors and doyens of Friends of Fiji Media face-book are hypocrites. Lately they disallowed anonymous memberships, citing ethics and and a preventative measure against personal attacks. Yet they allowed Marc Edge’s to post a link to an article that carried personal attacks on Ashwin Raj, including his sexuality, and humble background, which had nothing to with his media role. The latter, of course, deserves criticism, but why the bitchy, personal attacks? Why did Friends of Fiji Media allow it?

Marc Edge is too dim-witted to know that people from humble beginnings can rise to great heights – India’s Modi was a tea vendor. Self-styled doyens of Fiji media media, who behave and talk like they know it all, did not raise a word in objection to Marc Edge’s personal attacks. Dennis Rounds, never short of words, was silent. With his quietness he confirmed that his moralising is not worth shit. Samisoni Pareti was actually goading Marc Edge on. He seemed to revel in the nastiness. One can see why Samisoni Pareti and Marc Edge get on. They both seem to share a liking for bitchiness. Marc Edge passed a particularly nasty comment about Ashwin Raj’s sickness. No one uttered a word against it, except Netani Rika, so respect to him. As for Dennis Rounds and Samisoni Pareti, hypocrites full of hot air. Just all talk.

Friends of Fiji face-book administrators need to take a good, hard look at themselves. Giving Marc Edge a platform and a free reign to continue the abuse and bullying he was doing at USP is not doing them any good – just exposing their naivety, shallowness, callowness and nastiness.

Coup 4.5 said...

@Friends of Fiji Media Hypocrites@5.15pm. The group has a closed membership but I am sure they would welcome your 'observations' if you were to make them on their Facebook page where you can also give them right of reply. Unless Edge, Pareti, Rounds and Ashwin Raj take up the debate here, the subject is herewith closed. Vinaka - C4.5 Editor.

Anonymous said...

People say that Bainimarama is doing good things for Fiji!! NOT REALLY!! He's only doing that so that the people of Fiji can save his ass and vote for him cos when the next Government comes in, they are gonna hang him!! Remember one thing people, one vote for Bainimarama is a vote to Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum!!!!!! Don't forget that! Send this bitch to prison cos at the end of the elections he'll be a bitch with his tail under his legs and up his ass!!!!!

Anonymous said...

People say that Bainimarama is doing good things for Fiji!! NOT REALLY!! He's only doing that so that the people of Fiji can save his ass and vote for him cos when the next Government comes in, they are gonna hang him!! Remember one thing people, one vote for Bainimarama is a vote to Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum!!!!!! Don't forget that! Send this bitch to prison cos at the end of the elections he'll be a bitch with his tail under his legs and up his ass!!!!!

Unknown said...
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