Australian High Commission Mailing List: No Interference in Fiji Internal Affair?

    
Yesterday I received  a copy of the mailing list the Australian High Commissioner in Suva uses for its media releases.  For the most part it was as to be expected.  Of the 60 or so addressees, 12 were of the Fiji print , audio and visual media outlets, 6 were of Fiji businesses,  12 were embassies and high commissions, and about 20 were to people I do not know. Major press outlets like the Fiji Times and Fiji Sun received emails to the editor and several journalists.  The Ministry of Information had to made do with one email to their general email address which was a bit of a slap in the face to the Permanent Secretary responsible for government media releases. 
    I was not particularly surprised at the inclusion of Lisa William’s Pacific Media Group as a regional outlet . It is a major means of spreading anti-Bainimarama information around the Pacific.  And the inclusion of Suva-based PacNews assured some sort of balance.
     But there were three significant inclusions that surprised me.  I was surprised to see the inclusion of a political party, the Fiji Labour Party, until I recalled that they have an active website that constantly takes swipes at the Bainimarama government.  But far bigger surprises were the inclusion of the  anti-Bainimarama blog Coupfourpointfive and the Australian-based “pro-democracy” protest group Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement, that organized Ratu Tevita’s meeting in Canberra on Saturday.
      Their inclusion  would not have been so obviously a political stance taken by the Australian High Commission and, by extension, the Australian government, had one of two  pro-Fiji government or neutral blogs, and a  Fiji civil society organizations or two, been included.  But none were.
    This leaves one wondering what other information passes between the Australian government and the so-called "democracy” movement, and how Australia can state, given the evidence in the email list (not to mention their visa for Ratu Tevita)  that it is not interfering in the internal affairs of Fiji.

     Australians who do not agree with their government’s stance on Fiji  may care to contact Dennis Rounds, Public Affairs Officer at the Suva Embassy. Here are his contacts: Tel: (679) 3382211 (Ext 240) ; Fax: (679)3382065; D/Line: (679) 3382701; Cell: (679)7071225. E-mail: Dennis.Rounds@dfat.gov.au
The full email mailing list was:
To: - Public Relations Fj Ltd - Nirmal Singh (Business Fax); DIP - Chinese Embassy - (General email) (Business Fax); FY11-12 FM96 - Paradise; FY2011-12 Air Pacific - Samisoni Pareti; FY2011-12 Air Pacific - Samisoni Pareti; FY2011-12 Blogsite - Coupfourpointfive; FY2011-12 Blogsite - Fiji Movement for Democracy; FY2011-12 British High Comm - (General email); FY2011-12 British High Comm - Vineeta Nand; FY2011-12 Chinese Embassy - (General email); FY2011-12 Daily Post - Robert Wolfgramm; FY2011-12 European Delegation - Lice Movono Rova; FY2011-12 FABC - Frank Yourn; FY2011-12 FABC - Wylie Clarke; FY2011-12 Fiji Labour Party - (General email); FY2011-12 Fiji Sports Star - Iliesa Tora; FY2011-12 Fiji Sun - Leone Cabenatabua; FY2011-12 Fiji Sun - Maika Bolatiki; FY2011-12 Fiji Sun - Maneesh Karan; FY2011-12 Fiji Sun - Mere Naleba; FY2011-12 Fiji Sun - Nanise Loanakadavu; FY2011-12 Fiji Sun - Sera Janine; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - (General email); FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Avinesh Gopal; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Elenoa Baselala; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Fred Wesley - Editor; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Iowane Burese - Chief of Staff; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Monika Singh; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Samantha Rina; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Samisoni Nabilivalu; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Serelisoni Moceica; FY2011-12 Fiji Times - Verenaisi Raicola; FY2011-12 Fiji Times West - Margaret Wise; Amelia Vunileba; Cheeriean Wilson; Edwin Nand; Geoffery Smith; Rachna Nath; Richard Nath; Tukaha Mua; FY2011-12 Fijilive.com - Maciu Bolaitamana - Editor; FY2011-12 FijiVillage.com - Vijay Narayan; FY2011-12 Forum Secretariat - (General email); FY2011-12 Forum Secretariat - Johnson Honimae; FY2011-12 French Embassy - Nausheem Ali; FY2011-12 Indonesian Embassy - (General email); FY2011-12 Internet - Alpha Immigration; FY2011-12 Internet - Christopher Chand; FY2011-12 Internet - Creativiti; FY2011-12 Internet - Dana Jensen; FY2011-12 Internet - David; FY2011-12 Internet - David Chirell - Telstra; FY2011-12 Internet - dennis robbo; FY2011-12 Internet - Devika Narayan; FY2011-12 Internet - Emma Healy; FY2011-12 Internet - Faga Kotoitubou; FY2011-12 Internet - Florin Aprea; FY2011-12 Internet - Francis Herman; FY2011-12 Internet - Greg and Lynne; FY2011-12 Internet - Helavahanua; FY2011-12 Internet - Jacque Buksh; FY2011-12 Internet - Jona Sevura; FY2011-12 Internet - Justine Young; FY2011-12 Internet - Kakale Vave; FY2011-12 Internet - Kathleen Abel; FY2011-12 Internet - Lars Siefert; FY2011-12 Internet - Luke KT; FY2011-12 Internet - May Pal; FY2011-12 Internet - Prameel Mudaliar; FY2011-12 Internet - Seta Nasilivata; FY2011-12 Internet - Simon Beckett; FY2011-12 Internet - Suzanne.hopf; FY2011-12 Internet - Tevita Katafono; FY2011-12 Internet - Tui Waitui; FY2011-12 Internet - Vaseetal Shivangni; FY2011-12 Internet - Vee Dokona-Caucau; FY2011-12 Internt - Bale W; FY2011-12 Island Express - Mohammed Tawfiq; FY2011-12 Islands Business - Laisa Taga; FY2011-12 Islands Business - Rajan Sami; FY2011-12 Islands Business - Robert Matau; FY2011-12 Japanese Embassy - (General email); FY2011-12 Mai Life - Ricardo Morris; FY2011-12 Malaysian High Comm - (General email); FY2011-12 Marshall Islands Embassy - Ambassador; FY2011-12 MINFO - (General email); FY2011-12 Nai Lalakai - Anare Ravula; FY2011-12 Nauru High Comm - (General email); FY2011-12 NFP - kamal Iyer; FY2011-12 NZ High Comm - (General email); FY2011-12 NZ High Comm - Phillip Taula; FY2011-12 Pacific Media Group - Lisa Wiliams google group; FY2011-12 Pacnews - Makereta Komai; FY2011-12 Pacnews - Makereta Komai; FY2011-12 Pacnews - Matai Akau'ola; FY2011-12 Pacnews - Pita Ligaiula; FY2011-12 PNG High Comm - (General email); FY2011-12 Public Relations Fj Ltd - Nirmal Singh; FY2011-12 Radio Fiji - Elenoa Osborne; FY2011-12 Radio Fiji - newsroom (general); FY2011-12 Radio Fiji - Stanley Simpson; FY2011-12 Suva Business Centre - (General email); FY2011-12 Tuvalu High Comm - Fiji; FY2011-12 US Embassy - Shane Hussein; FY2011-12 Wansolwara - Shalendra Singh; FY2011-12 WHO - Saula Volavola; FY2011-12 William & Gosling - David Aidney; Boyle,Maggie [AusAID]; McNeil, Kirsty; MR - Fiji Sun - Iliesa Tora (Iliesat@fijisun.com.fj); Scott, Claire
Subject: Media Release - attached [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]




Comments

Anonymous said…
A simpler reason might be that they requested to be included on the email list ?

Who are the 6 businesses. Do you have theory on those also.

Press statements are public info and widely available. I', sure if Sharon want to give her personal email address she will be inclded as well. Same goes fro you Croz - have you asked to be included ?

Personally I'm growing very tired of everything that is wrong with Fiji being Australia's fault. Also it is a big streach to say 'Australia' support Ratu Mara or the Freedom/Deocracy movement. There has been no public endorsement. No goverment meetings. The group however are free to have their meetings. This may be very strange for those who support the PER in Fiji but quite normal in Australia. If a pro military or pro coup or pro dictactor group want to form in Australia supporting Frank they can. No problem.
Your confusion said…
Croz
Perhaps your confusion comes from your mindset that a military junta is a government?
Those many blogs against this illegal regime are actually pro Fiji government blogs. As far as I can see the only anti government blog is yours? Unless you have changed your confused mind and now support the legitimate Qarase government?
Alter ego said…
You're obviously catching the paranoia bug that's going around.

Media releases are by nature public. Most organisations will send them to anyone who asks. That's presumably why you get it ... Presumably the same reason that the other blogs made the distribution list ... And also explains why there's only one Minfo email.

The real breach of etiquette here is copying all the recipients instead of blind copying them.
Gutter Press said…
Crosbie

Neither you nor I are lawyers but I think you’re on desperately thin ground to infer that an email list you’ve received is, merely by virtue of its inclusions, ‘evidence’ of Australia not being truthful about its policy of non interference in Fiji’s internal affairs.

Are you sure the list hasn’t been altered to delete any recipients that espouse an alternative viewpoint? PacNews is given as one such organisation but who is to say there weren’t others.

I acknowledge that the Australian government’s bewildering decision to grant Ratu Tevita a visa implies a strong bias but they’ve made no secret of which side of the fence they’re biased towards. The mere granting of a visa is not, per se, ‘evidence’ that they are interfering in Fiji’s internal affairs.

I will be more interested to find out if Fiji makes application for Ratu Tevita’s extradition from Australia and New Zealand (once he goes there). If either country should refuse to comply without very good reason THEN we may reasonably infer a desire to interfere in Fiji’s internal affairs, but not before.

As a rider to that, I wonder if Fiji will even make such a request, or does the military’s antipathy towards both countries run too deep for that?
Anonymous said…
Now that is one of the most retarded jumps to a conclusion I think I've ever seen.
ah ha said…
I think you are really clutching at nothing on this one Croz.

Fiji seems most confused - it says Australia is not important and Ratu tevita not relevant but spend clearly both worry Fiji all the time.

The big issue is Tevita was considered perfect, on of the holy elite that where the only ones qualified to run Fiji. The real issue is it turns out Frank has just as many idiots in his military as Qarase had in his government.
pasifika said…
In view of the invective riddled language of the comments in coup 4.5 - some of the i taukei versions being of the lowest order of abuse, vulgarity and profanity - it is surprising that the Australian High Commission would want to be associated with it, despite their democratic right to do so.If they have not had the abusive i taukei comments translated,then it is another example of their misinformation of local behaviour occurring right under their noses. Australia's generosity in continuing aid to certain sectors locally is off course greatly appreciated as is the presence of Australian technical staff at the FRU.
Go Fiji Go said…
Croz,
This definitely shows Australia is working against the Government. The PM needs to teach them a lesson and close the embassy in Fiji.

They are doing their best to make him look a fool but it is not working.

We can all see the good he is doing for Fiji.

The Austrlian ambassador should be sent home.
Seizure said…
@ Go Fiji Go

It may not be wise to go that far. Australia needs to wisen up and be more streetwise regarding Fiji and its diverse population with their diverse views. Australia's political view does not fit us all but they keep forcing it on us. Give us a break.Can't they adapt and compromise ?
Reader said…
@Anonymous (or the Aust Gov rep) Thank you for telling us you have grown tired of everything being australias fault, well get with the program here, most of this bickering is due to interference from Aust and NZ. Open our diplomatic eyes and see what is really being said. Your embassy sends out email to a blog site that is as racist and violent and fully supports a violent uprising against the government. And you think this is acceptable business practice? you must be bloody joking mate! Yes we are all tired of Australia making one mistake after the other with Fiji and If they had any diplomats in Suva that knew what they were doing perhaps the embassy wouldn't have to resort to supplying anti government blog sites they would be more interested in engaging Fiji in serious dialogue.

@ Your confusion - your comment has no value at all. Fancy an anti gov blog site being pro Fiji, wake up sunshine they are anti everything except lining their pockets with the spoils they can grab once they are back in power, these people are opportunists who have conned all of you into believing they stand for Democracy, you all need to have a better understanding of who is behind these sites and then question yourself as to their motives.

The point is that Australia is using anti Government blog sites as a way of getting their message out, which means they must be reading this site, which in turn means they must be using this as a source of information, god help us all and no wonder Australian Policy in the pacific is a mess.
sara'ssista said…
So ,as I understand it , you are whining about the Australian embassy sending emails TO someone on a mailing list to inform them of aus position. So what. Feel free to close the embassy in fiji for all I care, as far as I can see it is not us that crave recognition, and we are doing just fine thanks.we dont need coups to develop our system and we certainly don't need to be lectured by our army about reform.
pasifika said…
@ Saras'sista

So, you are on the Australian Embassy staff and we have been misled to think that you're local because of your pseudonym. No wonder many of your comments have been confusing. How pathetic for Embassy staff to hide behind anonymity. You should use your resources to get out of your too-good air-con offices and carry out proper research on the ground in the real Fiji. If the Fiji situation does not present you with the proper professional challenges, why do you stay ? By the way, I hope the locals queueing outside the Australian Embassy in the hot sun and rain do not include the lame, the sick, the dying and the pregnant. How humanitarian and highly consistent with the sentiments behind the achievement of your Millenium Development Goals ! We don't need hypocrites here pretending to look into our problems.
sara'ssista said…
@pasfika

oh dear...well i am not an embassy employee, but even if i was, presumably i would live in the community and chat to others like anyone else to gauge opinions and the realities on the ground. Rather testy aren't we??
Frisbee said…
Does the gutter press now accept that Aust and NZ do interfere in Fijis internal affairs? Why don't they interfere in the affairs of Indonesia?

Does Mara still get addressed as a Ratu even though he is now Tongan? No disrespect for Tongans, no respect for a military deserter.

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