Showing posts from January 18, 2009
(-) DominionPost Editorial: Floods offer way back for Fiji
The Dominion Post Friday, 16 January 2009

[A typical example of the media's bias and lack of knowledge. The floods were the worst in human memory. Many towns and cities are without drinking water. Thousands of people are homeless. Sugar and food crops have been ruined, and roads and bridges damaged. Damage in Nadi alone is estimated at $100 million. And all the editor can see is an opportunity to force Fiji's Interim Government to toe the NZ line. Do what we say and we'll give you more aid.]

Every once in a while, catastrophe has its uses. To borrow a cliche, every cloud has a silver lining, even a cloud that has delivered rain of biblical proportions across the Fiji islands since last Friday, The Dominion Post writes.

Flash floods have forced Fiji's people out of their homes, caused officials to urge them to head for higher ground and ruined tourists' holidays. At least 11 people are believed to have died bec…
(0+) Fiji Floods Coverage -
What Happens when the Cameras Leave?
James Murray's blog:

[See especially the underlined comments by Robie towards the end of the interview.]

AUCKLAND (TV3/Pacific Media Watch): Fiji has been under the media spotlight in recent times following the expulsion of the New Zealand High Commissioner and the ensuing diplomatic row and more recently the devastating floods which have seen thousands displaced from their homes. The intense media coverage of these stories has no doubt assisted in bringing much-needed aid to Fiji – desperate for basics such as blankets and rice because the interim government can only budget for one major storm a year. But what happens when the cameras go home? Do we in New Zealand concentrate too much on disaster and damaged democracies and as a result miss important stories from the Pacific region that need to be told?I asked Dr David Robie, associate professor in journalism and director of AUT’…
(+B) Fr Barr's Letter for the New Year (extracts)
Everyone who writes to me wants to know how things really are in Fiji as they get such negative reporting of our situation in their national newspapers. In fact life goes on very normally for most people. A military dominated Interim Government under Commodore Frank Bainimarama has been in place since the coup in December 2006. The aim was to clean up corruption, oppose racism and recognize that Fiji is a multi-cultural country (while appreciating the privileged place of the indigenous Fijians), and to work for a better distribution of the country’s wealth in the face of so much poverty (about 40%).

Unfortunately, while much has been achieved, strong opposition from Australia, New Zealand and the US (and also from the EU and the Commonwealth to a lesser extent) has meant that development has been slow and barriers have been set in place to economic development. Travel bans from Australia and New Zealand have slowed down progress and …
(+B) Will Elections alone Solve Fiji Problems? Asking the Wrong QuestionsFr Kevin Barr

There seems to be a great deal of international concern that Fiji should have elections and return to democracy as soon as possible. Calls for democratic elections have come from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, the European Union and the commonwealth. We have had the report of the Eminent Persons group. Recently we have been inundated with overseas visitors – the UN fact finding mission as well as the Commonwealth Human rights fact finding mission. Two visits have been made from the European Union. Then the Pacific Islands Forum has organized a Ministerial committee to advise on the holding of elections.

This great flurry of activity is very interesting. It seems that the international community thinks that as soon as Fiji holds elections and returns to democracy, all its problems will be over. It will be accepted back into all the organizations from which it has been expelled and all will …