Milking the Violence Video


WEEKEND READING  •Allen Lockington Column • The Relevance of Venezuela to Fiji • Ghai Prejudiced from the start. I think Not by Crosbie Walsh.

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THE VIOLENCE VIDEO.  This incident is being "milked" to the limit. Few of those protesting seem to know that the incident is in police hands and that already two security personnel have been dismissed.  The Australian Senate and the NZ Parliament have  condemned the beating,  and meetings in Auckland and Wellington were yesterday addressed by MPs, trade unionists and Amnesty International speakers, whose knowledge of Fiji,  I suspect,  is based largely on hearsay prompted by  anti-Bainimarama government groups in both cities. The speeches were on "the rule of independent law, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of the media and the inhumane treatment of people in Fiji."  The media here sees Fiji in blacks and whites, black for Bainimarama and whites for "democrats" like Ratu Tevita Mara. There is no attempt at balance or analysis.quality of government services

Nothing is ever mentioned about what the Bainimarama Government has done to remove legislative racism, to treat citizens equally, to give all equal access to scholarships and education, to assist the poor, to promote development in neglected rural areas, to improve physical infrastructure,  to protect women and children, or to improve the quality and accessibility of government services. The average New Zealander has only the haziest notion of what it happening in Fiji, and most people visiting or living in Fiji would not recognize the image created.

The impression created is one of a nation living in fear, where there is no law and order, the judiciary is compromised, no one can say what they think, the media is muzzled, and people are routinely tortured.  The impression is not totally wrong. It has elements of truth.  There are restrictions that apply to some people  and to the media. Police and corrections officers are sometimes heavy handed (this has always been so) but for the most part the restrictions are temporary and are aimed at maintaining stability as the country shapes a new future. They are directed at people of the old political order that constantly seeks to undermine government reforms. The ordinary Fijian is unaffected.

When I read even one informed, balanced account of what is happening in Fiji and why, or hear one on TV or the radio,  I will be more inclined to believe in freedom of the media — in New Zealand.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Dear Croz,

Intellectually I am frustrated when, as someone who should have a clearer understanding of reality, you try to show balance in your writing. However my dark sense of humor greatly appreciates your futile efforts. I can't help myself. I just keep coming back to see how you are going to whitewash the latest unpleasant facts, or embellish the latest propaganda dished out by the oppressive dictator's machine.

But let me show my balance. Yes the self appointed PM has done some things that should have been done from day one in Fiji's democracy, but sadly he has more than cancelled those positive steps many times over with his draconian measures to never relinquish power.

Maybe the media in New Zealand is balanced. Maybe it has an acute sense of relative importance in reporting on Fiji. Maybe the the acts of the oppressive dictatorship that uses torture and guns to stay in power have more importance than its puny efforts to gain international legitimacy through rigged elections.
PER said…
There is a bit of good news from Suva:
Fiji Labour Party’s application to challenge certain provisions of the Political Parties Registration Decree has been rejected by the Suva High Court. In her ruling yesterday, Judge Justice Anjala Wati said no one can challenge any provision of the Decree.
I am really pleased to see the determination of the independent judiciary in Fiji to block all attempts by the evil old parties to stand in elections. This is the only way to guarantee free and fair elections. These things get never properly reported in the NZ media and if they are the message is always distorted and biased.
Nationalist said…
Croz, I really dont care what the outsiders and 'good for nothings' think about my country!! This nation is progressing. For those that feel oppressed are welcomed to leave.. and they can have dual citizenship - how generous is that! As far as the common man on the street is concerned, this government has delivered far more than what the previous democratic juntas have done. This common person will never be able to afford to travel to AUS or NZ. Their priority is food on the table and security. The screamers are those that have lost the corrupt money proceeds...or maybe privileged positions in large organizations with its fat pay cheques. The infestation cleaning process is progressing well!! The common man does not care about the loss of your privileged rights. Privileged ones such educated academics ( not all), poor useless chiefs, and rich citizens are trying to tell us what is right. You all can go to Hell!! This land will move forward with or without your help. Cheers to the hardworking people of this land. If you are outside .. comment about the nation you are in.. leave us in this monkey paradise ..because we are happy with our monkey key! Worry about your donkey leaders..monkey land is getting better.. Finally, I can sleep safely everynight... no threat to my sleep from the angels ... now in Naboro.. I know the angels will get the pain if they invade my privacy.. God Bless this Nation!!
PER said…
Thank you Nationalist, well said. This is the era of the underlings, of the poor and uneducated, not the era of elitist academics. Our PM is a strong leader who got to his position even without an education and he is therefore an inspiration for all underdogs in Fiji that they too can rule the country one day.
Anonymous said…
PER, it looks as though Nationalist has sucked you in with pro government bullshit. Ask him to spell out what he means by "leave us in this monkey paradise" and "Finally, I can sleep safely every night ...... now in Naboro". If our strong uneducated leader and his equally illiterate supporters cannot read properly, then even a half educated underdog has a good chance to defeat him and rule the country one day.
Who dares to win in Fiji now? said…
It is concerning that we should be led to believe that the many restrictions which are in place are merely 'temporary'. Who says so? By what timebound and SMART analysis are we to be assured that this is indeed so? There is no clarity on the matter. No transparency nor any measure of past credibility to reinforce even a hint of surety. An organised life, a business life cannot be conducted in such a manner. A Five Year Business Plan? A Three Year Business Plan? Oh well, a One Year Plan? Can this be dared? Who dares Wins? That applies only in one well-known place. But in Fiji, now?
Lara said…
Croz,

Do you know why the two security personnel were dismissed? Was it for the beatings, or for helping them escape? If it was for the beatings you would have expected that they should have been also charged.

I am not of the view that these beatings prove that the current government generally abuses human rights. These sorts of things happen in all countries. However, it does seem that the government is trying to sweep this mess under the carpet. This could be because of the bad publicity it brings, or that they do not want to offend the rank and file in the security forces who are backing them up.
Anonymous said…
Croz,

The 2 officers sacked and not charged. Big difference and you need to ask why just sacked? Any idea or have you bothered to ask why hasn't the Fiji media reported this in more detail?

Signed
Black Hat
Crosbie Walsh said…
@ Lara ... Charges should have been laid. An example needs to be made to root out this common practice but at least something was done, and actions against those doing the beating have probably not finished. You say "just sacked." In Fiji that probably equates with "unemployed and no income." Quite a stiff punishment. The incident is being promoted by those opposed to government as the sort of action you'd expect under a dictatorship (as if it never happened before.) There has been some publicity in the local media. I suspect for most people, it's no longer newsworthy. If there are any developments, we'll hear more.
wati s said…
what about the 'new elites' - the military and their cronies who thanks to Bainipajamas are untouchable until they fall out with him and seem to have done very nicley for themselves under the regime.
desmond said…
It is an issue because characteristically the regime didn't even bother to respond, then when they did, they minimised and dismissed it, then reluctancly ordered an investigationn only to have their boss, the illegal self appointed PM suggest that he would protect them no matter what ??!! This is preferable to Qarase ?! So if this type of thuggery and intimidation happened before and happens now, what exactly has this regime changed ?? Should we perhaps just focus on bus fares for school kids?
Anonymous said…
More advice from Croz for the regime to ignore...he still doesn't get the hint.

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