Don't Give Me that Nonsense about the Media Freedom in the Mickey Mouse Press
Q. What does the Fiji Times, the Townsville Bulletin, the Australian and the Courier-Mail have in common?
A. They are all owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd and they've all employed Rory Gibson as editor, editor-in-chief, chief sub-editor or senior journalist at some time or another.
Rory has the reputation of writing humourous articles. If you're a kookaburra, you'll really laugh at his latest effort, " Australian tourists turn a blind eye as Fiji's best people persecuted" in the Brisbane Courier-Mail.
He writes that "it should be a source of profound shame to our country that Australians are going on holidays to Fiji in record numbers."
Why? Because they are gifting "dollars to the coffers of a nation that is run by a military dictatorship little better than any apartheid regime operating in South Africa's dark ages."
Forget that most of the dollars stay in Oz and that thousands of ordinary Fijians live on what's left. Just think back to Soweto, S. Africa 1976. Police open fire on 10,000 protesters. Fiji today. No guns fired. Apartheid South Africa, All ANC leaders, including Nelson Mandela imprisoned, many for life. Fiji. Short-term arrests but no political prisoners; former Prime Ministers drinking coffee in Downtown Suva.]
And who is the cause of the shame in Fiji? "We can all laugh," he writes unblushingly, "that our Melanesian neighbours are ruled by a bloke with a name that sounds like an '80s girl band, and assuage our consciences by believing Commodore Bainimarama's claptrap about restoring fairness to Fiji's racist electoral system." Girl band? Claptrap? Restoring? It wasn't a racist electoral system?
And what are the effects? "This Pacific tragedy isn't about whether the Fiji Times is being edited under the baleful glare of one of Bainimarama's gun-toting thugs [Oh, No?], or that an expat gets his marching orders.[Definitely not!] It's about people like Imrana Jalal and her husband Ratu Sakiusa Tuisolia." And the rest of his long story is about these "best people" and a court case in which Imrana was
His conclusion? "Going on holiday there while this sort of abuse is happening would be like sitting in a cafe sipping a coffee while a mugger attacked a pregnant woman on the footpath next to you, and you ignored it."
So, that's all for the moment from Rory Gibson, former editor-in-chief of the Fiji Times, defender of media freedom. One wonders what his journalist colleagues think about this.
AND HERE'S ANOTHER EXAMPLE, Did you know that last year "one Catholic district leader" stood firm with arrested Methodist leaders who were planning an annual meeting, and "bravely declined [a Government] deal in exchange for the charges being dropped."? Neither did I. But had the Fiji Times's first cousin, the Sydney Morning Herald,
Why did the SMH choose to ignore her well known title and call her "a Catholic district leader," which she is not? Catholics don't have district leaders. I can only guess that the story of religious persecution they were advancing looked better if a Catholic was added to the Methodists, who do have districts, whereas a high chief would be less appealing to gullible egalitarian Australian readers.
FIJI SPEARHEADS MOVE FOR MORE PACIFIC UN REPRESENTATION spearheading a move within the United Nations to increase Pacific Islands representation within the UN system. Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Peter Thomson, has been appointed to chair a working group to look at how Pacific countries can gain a fairer share of representation on the many councils, committees and organs of the United Nations. The eleven Pacific Island missions to the UN make up the group. They are the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Fiji-born Thomson's family connection to Fiji stretches back five generations. He left Fiji after his arrest during the 1987 coups, settling first in New Zealand and then Australia, before the Bainimarama government appointed him as its representation in New York. He holds dual citizenship.