News and Comments Thursday 2 May 2013

HOW STRONG THE MEDIA RESTRICTIONS? Accusations about restrictions on the Fiji media continue with this from the Citizens Constitution Forum's Programme Manager Rodney Yee talking about CCF's Analysis of the Government Draft Constitution on Close Up.  But Yee was interviewed on Close Up for all of Fiji to hear and the opposition, doubts and questions on the Government Draft Constitution seem to be widely published, for example, this by Mereoni Chung of the Fiji Youth for Democracy movement. I've no doubt a degree of self-censorship exists but the situation is far better than it was under PER and not nearly as restrictive as some would have us believe.  Australian and NZ readers may also think back to the last time they heard a favourable,. or even a neutral comment, in their media about the Bainimarama government!

SUPPORT FOR FIJI'S "PROGRESS." Meanwhile,  USA Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs deputy assistant secretary Edgard Kagan has told Fiji Ambassador Winston Thomson “The US Government stands ready to provide further assistance on jointly identified areas in which they have expertise to offer to assist Fiji return to democracy,” PNG  Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has pledged 50m kina (F$40million) to assist Fiji’s electoral process, and  Singapore's  ambassador at large, Justice (Rtd)  Rubin,says he is impressed with Fiji's progress and PM Bainimarama's vision for the country.

THE BEDDOES v. KHAIYUM PING PONG GAME. Earlier, former UPP head Mick Beddoes, on Radio Australia attempted to discredit the support of the Melanesian counties for Fiji by calling them “unstable” countries that had “embraced dictatorship” through their support for Fiji and promised, “a newly-elected democratic government in Fiji would “review its relations” with the PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and reconsider Fiji's future participation in the MSG.  He presumes, of course, that he will be a member of a future government, and that's still a very long call.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum called Beddoes' remarks irresponsible and unfortunate.  “Here we are trying to expand Fiji’s economic interests, create new investment and sustain and create Fijian jobs and develop Fiji’s regional partnerships and this person clearly sets out to sabotage that effort for his selfish political agenda. Insulting our Pacific and Melanesian partners in the manner he did is very unfortunate,"

He also branded as a “lie”, Mr Beddoes’s claims in the interview that Fijians were intimidated and afraid to attend public meetings and that media restrictions meant that the local media was one-sided. “There are no restrictions on anybody attending public meetings, either the current consultations on the Draft Constitution – which have been a huge success – or to meetings conducted by these old politicians. Neither are there restrictions on the media, which is free to cover those meetings and has done so. The fact is that ordinary Fijians and the media are seeing through these old politicians and their blatant self interest, double standards, fear mongering, and inability to focus on the future creating a modern, prosperous and just Fiji. That is why the ordinary Fijians  are turning their backs on the politics of old and not turning up to their meetings,” he said.


Remove cowardly juntas said…
Beddoes is not only a legitimately elected politician he is a man of courage not hiding behind thugs with guns. Khaiyum on the other hand is the illegal AG, has committed treason and only has authority of the thug guns? The moment the military withdraw their 'protection' of khaiyum and his ilk (and they eventually will), you know and he knows he would not last 24 hrs before he is dragged to justice and the punishment he deserves for his illegal and treasonous acts against the people of Fiji.
john said…
While Beddoes is a has been and failed politician, our AG, the Honorable Khaiyum is a selfless visionary politician who has a clear vision of the future. We should make sure that remains our AG, our minister of justice, tourism etc. Have you thought of how much money the taxpayers save because this man does the job of 7 ministers while drawing only a modest salary of $ 120,000 p.a.
Joe said…
To hell with beddoes, chaudhary, qarase etc. Fiji deserves better leaders like what we have at present.
john said…
Joe do you imply that our beloved PM and visionary AG are not good leaders? If so be advised that these two are the best we ever had and we must make sure that they stay in power. We don't need democracy, we need elections in order to legitimise their benign governance. Without this stupid elections we won't be able to get our hands on all this aid money from the EU and other generous donors.
Joe said…
Thats exactly what I said in the second sentence. I fully endorse this govt.
john said…
Thanks Joe. The problem is that a very small group of disgruntled elites and old politicians supported by unfair international media still make a lot of noise and insist that free and fair elections need to be held. Why can't we just accept that our PM and his AG are now our new paramount chiefs. Their intentions are good and most grassroots support them.
free and fair said…
Its time we stopped being misled by aid. Please don't accept any more aid from the EU. They messed us up the last time, legitimizing a failed election.101% voter turnout, and still the elections were fair and free? 2 million ballot papers printed and still the elections were fair and free? But lets not talk in such a negative way. Mr Qarase and Mr Chaudhary were such visionary, honest, non-self-serving leaders that its a shame to say anything bad about them. They really believed in fairness and equality. After all they are all so devoted to racial equality now aren't they?

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