Tui Namosi Supports Government, Fiji's Suspenion Fragmenting Forum, Croz Walsh Beaten, HIV/Aids Praise

And Australia Accuses Fiji! See left column item.

The Turaga na Tui Namosi called on chiefs attending the Namosi Provincial council meeting yesterday to support Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama's government. Photo: Fiji Village.

My Position in a Nutshell. Maverick former South Australian MP  questions Australian and NZ policy on Fiji. Peter Lewis said the country seemed to be doing well under the leadership of someone who gained absolute power without elections, and the best way forward is to take the current Prime Minister at his word and remind him of it at regular intervals, through objective remarks.

Fiji's Suspension: Forum Secretariat Says Time Not Right, Ratuva Says it Could be Too Late Already. According to RadioNZ International, the PI Forum Secretariat  says it has decided the time is not right for it to discuss publicly questions pertaining to its operation and Fiji's ongoing suspesion from membership, even though at least one member, Vanuatu, has said  it wants Fiji's return to fullmembership ASAP.

Auckland University and former USP academic, Dr Steven Ratuva, thinks the suspension already has far reaching consequences. “It has fragmented the Forum ... the Melanesian Spearhead Group ... is mobilising around Fiji. [There are] various fault lines within the Pacific Islands’ solidarity. For a long time the Pacific Islands Forum has been based on consensus. I think consensus is beginning to see fractures right at the middle.”

Dr Ratuva says the suspension has also altered the region’s geopolitical dynamics with Fiji intensifying its
Look North policy towards China and away from Australia and New Zealand.

Croz Walsh "Beaten" by Pacific Beat? NZ Society of Authors President Tony Simpson was  interviewed by Bruce Hill on Radio Australia's Pacific Beat on Monday 19th April. He said the the NZ government's silence on the draft Media Decree was "disgraceful," concluding "I mean there are awful things going on in Fiji. I mean there are people getting beaten up and locked in prison and bullied and their views are about to be severely suppressed and the people of Fiji themselves have not got any more, much the sources of information about what's going on in their own society and from now on, they are going to have even less available to them."

Bruce invited me to comment and reply to this on Thursday 22nd, assuring me my comments would be published by Monday or Tuesday the next week. Now, nearly two weeks later, my response has still not been aired. Why? It could be that more pressing items overtook mine. It could also be media censorship Aussie-style. As with my earlier "dumping" from Bryan Crump's RadioNZ Nights show, there is no way of knowing. There's only one certainty: Australians and New Zealanders are being presented with only one, very biased, side of the Fiji story.

The joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS Pacific office has praised Fiji's draft HIV Prevention and Treatment Decree. UNAIDS Pacific Co-ordinator, Stuart Watson says the draft decree could actually be used as amodel legislation globally. The draft HIV Prevention and Treatment Decree has already been approved by the Fiji Cabinet and it could be in place by June.


sara'ssista said…
'aust and nz are being presented with a very biased side of the fiji story', as opposed to a government mouthpiece required to print as directed, monitored, censored and threatened, where else in the region is this necessary, fiji is nothing has issues and sociological issues like any country but it is never ever okay to just get along with an illegal government that rules without any mandate by decrees and hides behind national security to maintain and increase its powers...where that was never, ever an issue. For a 'commentator' who appears to welcome even-handedness and fairness , where anywhere have you seen any comment from the government or it's illegal members some sense of what went wrong with this coup plan, any apology for loss of life, property or intimidation etc ...i have never seen it. So please spare me the feigned indignation that aus, nz don't appear to see the benefits and progress from this tainted regime.We really wouldn't know as there is absolutely no oversight from anyone, parliament, judiciary is there ?? So why, why would you take anything as a given fro this bunch?? The critics don't have to prove anything...
Frank's big checkmate said…
The attempt by Australia, NZ and some of their Polynesian lackeys to use the Pacific Forum as a blunt instrument against Frank Bainimarama has totally backfired. Consider this: In July, Bainimarama will host the Melanesian Spearhead Group countries in Suva and chair their meetings. Yes, the big kahuna, up the front with the gavel and the face at every news conference. With PNG and Fiji as members, these are the biggest, most influential Pacific nations and they may even be joined by one or two other countries outside Melanesia, who Bainimarama has invited to attend. Where does this leave the Forum? Marginalised and irrelevant. It's no exaggeration to say that by politicising the Forum, Australia and NZ have triggered its destruction. And they've also made an appalling strategic blunder that will haunt them for years to come. They've left the door wide open for China to move into the region in much more than a token sense. China's support for the MSG and its decision to provide the MSG with a headquarters in Port Vila is clearly designed to isolate Australia and NZ from its traditional partners. The tragedy is that the Aussies and Kiwis keep denying this and are so ready to accept private Chinese assurances that they're not moving into the Pacific. Yeah, sure. In the meantime, Frank is playing divide and rule. And when he sits in the chair at the MSG meeting in Suva, he'll be like the Cheshire Cat. How the Aussies and the Kiwis can be so stupid is beyond me. The Forum trashed, the MSG and its Chinese patrons enhanced and no progress whatsoever towards democracy in Fiji. Good one, fellas.
Academic sense said…
Has anyone noticed that Steve Ratuva is a lot more sensible nowadays? Moving to NZ has obviously done him the world of good. His analysis of the realignment in regional relationships is spot on. And we can only hope that his fellow academics in Australia and NZ start taking notice. Talking of academics, have you noticed how quiet Brij Lal and Jon Fraenkel have become in recent times? It's called back peddling. Their hatred for the regime hasn't abated but they've seen the writing on the wall. All the pressure in the world isn't making Frank budge. And what's worse is that many people in Fiji actually like what's going on nowadays. Yes, times are tough. But the vicious racist edge that was palpable in the past has evaporated. Many people are starting to think that maybe this was the revolution Fiji needed. And as long as the regime keeps its promise to hold elections in 2014, the country will be a much better place. Who knows. Frank might even be in a position to win an election himself. He's certainly a lot more in touch with ordinary people of all races than his hopeless predecessor.
Radio Blah-blah said…
Radio Australia is a disgrace and no-one is surprised at the bias of programs like Pacific Beat. Anyone who doesn't follow the party line and belt the Bainimarama regime gets excluded. Bruce Hill and the likes of Campbell Cooney are part of a "pro-democracy at all costs" clique in RA who make sure that only the regime's critics get an airing. They don't like being reminded of the fact by their critics like David Robie and Shailendra Singh. But anyone who listens to RA knows its main agenda is propaganda to support the politicians, bureaucrats and academics that constitute Australia Inc. A gaggle of mediocrities best ignored. The same goes for the government parrots at RNZ International.
Follow the money said…
The proof that Radio Australia and Australia Network are compromised is in their funding arrangements. Unlike the rest of the ABC, which is funded directly from Treasury, Radio Australia and Australia Network get their money from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Is it any wonder that for all their protestations of editorial independence, they parrot the official Australian line? Australian Network is under even more pressure nowadays as DFAT decides whether to renew the ABC's contract to provide a satellite service or give it to Sky News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch and a gaggle of other Aussie media players. It's like the old saying; If you're Caesar's wife, you not only have to be clean but seen to be clean. With its external broadcasting, Australia is hopelessly compromised. Because as another old saying goes; "he who pays the piper calls the tune"
sara'ssista said…
let china pay all the bills for the region, i think no one will notice frankly....everyone knows that the region only knows how to have it's hand out, some one will aways be haying this bills.. i am one who is patient and keen for china to step in..send boatloads of tourist who spend even less than normal, and let china bugger fiji and others from behind getting what they think it's tough now with aus, nz, us and wait until china get what it will always have a daddy who pays the rent and calls the tune.... you have brought this all on yourselves.
We need more coups to bring prosperity!!! said…
Listen to the garbage from the coup supporting spin doctors!! FSC has unsustainable borrowings. There is no way the $86,000,000 will be repaid. Sugar farmers are destitute. They will get virtually nothing for their hard work this quarter.
Spin doctors tell us tourism numbers are up. Total rubbish. Discounted prices - try the tourism retaiulers - when they give you a price - which is nothing in AUD - THEN demand 50% off - you will get it!! They are desperate. Too bad - except for the many now unemployed.
Fiji under the useless junta is in a terrible state - no amount of spin and media restriction is stopping the truth frm emerging - people are becoming desperately poor - another great coup sucess - thank you croz - for supporting a regime that has destroyed the future for Fiji's children!!!
Off their medication said…
OMG, Croz, now you've really set off the screaming exclamation mark brigade!!! Not only are you "a coup supporting spin doctor, you're personally responsible for destroying the future of every child in Fiji!!! A heavy burden to carry but one I know you can bear.

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