PER Under Constant Review, FDFM Close to Terrorism, Fiji Day, and More

PER UNDER CONSTANT REVIEW. Fiji’s permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns says  thePublic Emergency Regulations are under constant review and can be lifted at any time.

The regulations, or PER, include rules on public assembly and the media. They were first introduced when the consitution was made invalid in April last year and have just been extended for another month.

Ms Smith Johns says the rules on the media are under particular watch since the Media Decree was issued in June. “When the Media Decree came in the Attorney General commented that the PER would be lifted after three months. That is being reviewed but there’s no decision on it as yet.”

ONE STEP CLOSER TO TERRORISM. The call by the anti-Government Australia-based Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement for economic and trade union sanctions against Fiji is so demonstrably "nutty" that its unlikely to be heeded. Earlier calls, also by the FDFM, for such sanctions were rejected by the Australian government because they would obviously impact heavily on ordinary people, and have little effect on the Fiji government.

What the call does, however, is draw attention to this shady group masquerading as freedom-lovers and democrats when, as last Saturday's post on this blog showed, they are a front for the extreme ethnic Fijian nationalists in the deposed Qarase government: the people whose actions precipitated the Bainimarama Coup. Before 2006 such people thought--and said-- that democracy was a "foreign flower" that had no place in Fiji. They now hide unashamed beneath its petals.

FDFM leader, Usaia Waqatairewa, says his movement is now looking at "strategic options to gather support for sanctions against Fiji and take drastic measures that can affect Fiji's tourism industry and cripple the economy." If these "drastic measures" include bomb threats at tourist locations as some of their ilk previously threatened, Australia may well have to deal with a terrorist organization in its midst, and its members  who are not Australian citizens or do not have permanent residency may facedeportation to Fiji to be dealt with by the authorities there. Crippling the economy will win them no friends in Fiji.

and with her some of Fiji's history.

. In the lead up to Fiji Day this week, Fiji’s President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has said that this year’s celebrations will allow us all to look and reflect on our achievements. “The theme of our celebrations this year is “Celebrate our Fiji”.

It affords us the opportunity to look back at how far we have come and to celebrate our achievements as a nation.  We celebrate our uniqueness in the Pacific region and indeed in the world, as a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation.”

President Nailatikau said Fiji should celebrate its uniqueness and diversity despite the insecurities that it has faced in the past. “But our celebrations of this momentous occasion will not be dampened by our insecurities of the past. Our future requires of us the strength to mould a rebuilt Fiji, well-governed, non-racial, and united.

A Fiji that seeks a prosperity that can only come through honesty and sheer hard work” He added. Nailatikau also said the present Governmnet are doing all they can to improve Fiji as a nation through its reforms.

However he reiterated the importance for leaders to set aside their differences and work together to make the nation better.“But we will not find the true meaning of celebrating our Fiji, unless we put aside our own selfish interests, pool our resources together and keep our eyes firmly focused on our common goal. This requires that our Government leaders, traditional chiefs and elders, community religious and youth leaders, guide the people of our nation with a vision.”

Fiji Day celebrations will begin on the 7th of October and end on the 8th.

OVERSEAS ON FIJI DAY?  If you're in Sydney or Brisbane, see   See also the Auckland Fiji community  website and  Radio Tarana and the US, check out Fijianatimes.

. Listen to the RadioNZ Media Watch  interview. The first part of the programme is on the Delhi Games so go forward to 24 minutes to hear the ten minute interview with David.



Facts said…
Actually the PM and AG both promised the PER would be removed when the media decree came into effect. For many months we waited for the media decree. It has been in place since June and the PER should have been lifted then.

How can there be "no decisions yet" when the PM has already promised it would be removed. To promise it he must have already made the decision yes ?
Fiji Day not said…
Four coups in 40 years. A military lead government for 4 years. PER restricting many freedoms. No elections until 2014 (maybe not even then). Sorry not much to celebrate at the moment and we certainly don't appreciate lecturing from a military appointed president.
invelp said…
I strongly suspect the PER will stay in place until we have a new constitution which will no doubt give a range of executive powers to the military and pardon Franks and friends. When they feel 100% safe personally and 100% in control of future governments our current PM will call for elections...and maybe then lift the PER. This is why 2014 is a far of date at best hopeful and at worst fiction.

My father always said I should judge people by their actions and track record not what they say. The biggest issue with this governemnt is they say a lot a do little and ther track record on promises is very very poor.
fable said…
I also find it strange that people like our President and PM demand we all get behind them to "re-build Fiji" when they are the ones that led the crush with another military coup in 2010. We all have to get behind then to re-build what they sort to destroy for their own benefit ?
Taveuni said…
Sharon Smiths Jones's statement on PER really says nothing. What is the regime frightened of? PER presents it as a hard line, inflexible and authoritarian government that is not prepared to allow the citizens of the country the space to engage in open dialogue and the media to cover all news including those that may not necessarily put government’s actions and inaction in a good light!
Joe said…
Terrorism, as defined by wikipedia, perfectly fits in with the actions of the military regime in Fiji, and not the Sydney based democracy movement.

This does not mean that I support the FDFM, especially when the likes of Ballu and Kaitani are guest speakers.
Radiolucas said…
The regime is frightened of criticism and objective accountability - once the PER is lifted (if it ever is), people would be free to ask basic questions regarding the failure of the so-called government to deliver on its stated promises and aims.

If they truly were for the people and had these aims at heart, the PER would be redundant. The PER is merely being used as a tool to dissuade any dissent.

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