News and Comments Thursday 6 September 2012

SHAW'S SUBMISSION TO THE COMMISSION. You  have to admire Prof Yash Ghai's composure.  Just after speaking on the need for the Commission to educate people on the need for the separation of  church and state, the apparition of  George Bernard Shaw appeared and in a barely audible eerie  voice said, "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." Not a hair moved on the Professor's head.

Hot air
THE UNBELIEVABLE MICK BEDDOES.  An even more unbelievable submission was made by Mick Beddoes who stopped short of asking that George Speight and the chiefs behind the 2000 Coup be allowed to stand in the 2014 election. He only wanted  "everyone convicted or imprisoned after December 2006" to be able to stand.  A Naboro inmate, released under guard, supported  Beddoes submission but thought it did not go far enough.  He wanted the release of all Naboro inmates.

NEARLY HALF A MILLION REGISTERED. Close to half a million people have registered  to vote in the first wave of electronic voter registration (EVR) for the 2014 elections. This represents around 80 per cent of current eligible domestic voters, with another period of registration to come later in the year, and the first registrations of Fijians living abroad to begin next year.

 MINE WORKERS INTO THE FRAY. The Fiji Mineworkers Union will actively campaign and vote in the next elections for any political party that pledges to put into effect the just claims of the Union in relation to their 21-year-old strike. Some 436 mineworkers went on strike on 27th February 1991 in protest against the harsh working conditions at the Emperor Goldmine in Vatukoula and against the Government for failing to recognize and register the Fiji Mineworkers Union as a union. Union president Josefa Sedreu said that the  436 families affected  now  included children, grandchildren and extended families of voting age.

In March 2006 the Court of Appeal ruled that  the solution to the  mineworkers strike was in the hands of the government of the day but nothing was done. In 2007 the present Government said it would resolve the issue but again nothing was done.    Mr Sedrau said:
“We will campaign vigorously and vote for any political party that undertakes to abide by the Court of Appeal decision that the recommendations of the 1995 G.P. Lala Commission of Inquiry into the work and conditions at Vatukoula, and our claims for human rights redress, can be accepted, respected and acted upon by the government.”

FIJI A 'WORK IN PROGRESS': STOP SELF CENSORING AND START REPORTING THE FACTS. This was the message given Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary, Sharon Smith Johns, speaking at a USP conference on media and democracy. She urged the nation’s journalists to take advantage of the lifting of censorship to begin fully informing  ordinary people with the information they need.    She said the fears expressed by journalists are understandable in the transition from censorship to freedom bur urged  journalists not to use this as an excuse not to do their jobs.

 Government wants a vigorous media but with conditions similar to other  countries: not to fuel racial division, not to threaten peace and order, and not to damage our economy and people’s jobs.

“In developing countries, we all have a responsibility to educate and enlighten, to create stability for investment and the jobs our people so badly need. This does not come from fuelling division. There is a special responsibility on all of us in a small island developing state  like Fiji." Censorship was imposed in the interests of national stability and has  now been lifted.

 “I know some of you have a jaundiced view about the Fiji Government’s attitude to media freedom. As a country, we are a work in progress. But huge progress has been in achieving genuine democracy. We are committed to the vision of a united, prosperous Fiji in which every citizen has a viable and equal stake.”, she said. -- Based on a MOI release.

Academic: Be part of the solution

Mary Rauto
Thursday, September 06, 2012
JOURNALISTS need to become part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.
Auckland University of Technology Pacific Media Centre director David Robie made the call at a media and democracy conference at the University of the South Pacific yesterday.
Speaking on "Four world's news values revisited: A deliberative journalism paradigm for Pacific media", Mr Robie said deliberative and critical development journalism had an essential role to play in the future of the South Pacific.
He also said "a new generation of educated journalists has a responsibility to provide this".
"The deliberative journalist seeks to expose the truth and report on alternatives and solutions."
Mr Robie said deliberative journalism involved empowerment.
He said it was providing people with information and facility to do something for their lives.
"It involves writing information that enables people to make choices for change," he said.


Joe said…
Applying for any job requires the prospective employee to have a clean police record, and here we have the ex leader of opposition backing a criminal for the top job in the country. Birds of the same feather!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
And Frank is a clean skin right ? OK so no formal charges but think treason, coup and links to murder of soliders. I for one think ALL COUPSTERS should be in jail - Rabuka right through to Frank.
Joe said…
Actually someone had to bite the bullet and clean these blood sucking leeches out. Frank and co took that risk and deserve a well earned immunity. Granted a coup is a coup, and is treason, but you can hear these self styled so called leaders singing out at the const comm. When would they have put Fiji first ever. We all know the answer to that.
Sadly divided nation said…
Fiji has never been a more divided nation. This coup of Bainimarams's, to cover his own arrest and trial for murder of unarmed CRW patriots, has had a devastating effect on Fiji. It will bw interesting to see how it turns out, especially if the current guns for hire change their allegiance? All over rover?

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