Tuilaepa's Joke, Lift Part of PER, No Complaints to Human Rights Commission, Anon
PM Tuilaepa is reported the same day, also by Radio NZI, with these words of advice for Bainimarama:“If he goes back to the barracks and leaves the politicians to do what they are good at, then Fiji would be a better place to live.” He says "the Commodore should leave politics alone." We see what he means!
N224. LIFT PART OF PER. The Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF) has again called for the lifting of the public emergency regulations (PER) to allow the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 to be tested. CEO Rev Akuila Yabaki says PER results in "the muzzling of free speech and expression of opinion which will lead to the emergence of blog sites as the only resort for political opinion and news for the citizens, the state and political opinion makers ... A free, fair and open media without the constraints of censorship will allow for freedom of expression for all citizens to debate issues reasonably and openly.”
At least one readers agree. She writes: "There is NO NEWS anywhere and my daily F$1.60 spent on purchasing the two newspapers is almost money down the drain - really, they aren't worth reading; they get worse and worse by the week. NO-ONE knows what on earth is happening in the government (if anything is!) and the Govt isn't saying. Worse though, is that no-one seems to ASK: so what hope is there for "informed debate" on a national level before elections? Perhaps on numbers of acres under dalo, or cost of a new hydro scheme ... but nothing of a 'national, Fiji-in-the-world' level."
I'm surprised Government does not lift that part of PER that applies to the media (and so allow the Media Decree to be tested) while keeping in place that part of PER that places limited on free assembly. This is not to condone this aspect of PER but to recognize that there are people in Fiji who would resort to any measure to overthrow the government.
N225. FIJI HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. The Commission says it is aware of recent media reports and its staff are on the alert for complaints from victims of torture and abuse at the hands of the military but it hasn’t received any recent complaints of alleged abuse, detainment or intimidation. However, the Commission is investigating earlier complaints of brutality and ill-treatment by other members of the disciplined services.
The anti-government blog Fiji Today says the public has no confidence in the Fiji regime’s Human Rights Decree and the Fiji Human Rights Commission. I wouldn't presume to know what the public think.
N226. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Readers will see I now allow anonymous comments although I'd still prefer all readers commenting on posts to use their real name or a pseudonym because this makes the exchange of opinions easier.
The previous requirement has been relaxed because some readers keep changing their pseudonym (making them no different from anons) and because readers can now respond to individual postings by number (e.g., N201). All other previous requirements remain, namely: "Impolite comments, and comments that attack the person and not the argument,or are irrelevant, repetitive or unhelpful to further discussion will be DELETED. All genuine comments, of whatever political persuasion, will be published if they follow these rules."