Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pro-regime Media Abetting Illegal Regime

Fiji's pro-regime media namely State owned Radio Fiji and private Legend FM are continuing to give prominence and prime air time to dictatorship regime's head Frank Bainimarama and Permanent Secretary for Information Neumi Leweni to mis-inform the people of Fiji regarding the circumstances surrounding the arrest and detention of Marama Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa and the leadership of Methodist Church.Radio Fiji and Communications Fiji Ltd - which operates five radio stations - two Hindi, two English and one Fijian station, have completely succumbed to censorship and allow the regime air time to state blatant lies and provide misinformation. The Fiji Sun under the leadership of Peter Lomas sold its independence to the regime a few weeks before the imposition of the new legal order on 10th April and its daily editions glorify Bainimarama, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and other regime leaders in return for advertisements. Both radio Fiji and Legend FM still say that Ro Teimumu and the Church leaders are being questioned by police. There is no mention of them being detained by the military or initially the police in Ro Teimumu's case. Both radio stations reported this morning that all four are being questioned by police.The last shreds of neutrality, independence and impartiality of the Fiji Sun, Radio Fiji and Communications Fiji Ltd have well and trully gone with their decision to allow the regime absolute freedom to bombard innocent citizens with abuse and accusations and refusing to take the victims' side of the story in an attempt to try and get them aired or even for the censors to reject it.
Posted by Pacific in the Media

Ro Teimumu spends night in military cell
The Marama Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa spent last night locked up in a military cell with her own peronal blanket.Ro Teimumu, arrested from Lomanikoro village in Rewa around 12am on Wednesday, spent close to 10 hours in a police cell at Central Police Station in Suva until she was taken to the CID headquarters in Toorak for interrogation. Ro Teimumu was given temporary reprieve when she was released from police custody to rest at a home in Suva but was told to return last night for further questioning. Sources have confirmed that Ro Teimumu went to the Central Police Station and after police completed their interview to try and establish whether she was inciting people, the high chief was told she was free and being formally released. But at the same time Ro Teimumu was told by police that military officers wanted to question her as well. We can confirm that while a few of her people from Rewa were waiting at the front entrance of CPS to take her home, soldiers arrived through the back gate of the police station located opposite the Reserve Bank of Fiji building. The soldiers whisked Ro Teimumu away through the back gate in a military vehicle, unknown to the few people of Rewa who were waiting in front of the station. We have confirmation that she was locked up in a military cell at Queen Elizabeth Barracks.
We can also confirm from sources close to the military that Frank Bainimarama's trusted ally Sitiveni Qiliho was seen repeatedly walking outside the cell in what sources say was an attempt to intimidate Ro Teimumu. Qiliho was in full military uniform and armed with a pistol in a holster that he normally wears around the knee. He is the operations chief of Third Infantry Regiment led by Ro Teimumu's nephew Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara.
Coupfourpointfive can also confirm that the general secretary of Methodist Church Reverend Tuikilakila aqairatu, Reverend Manasa Lasaro and Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi were taken by soldiers to their respective homes last night to have their shower and change their clothes before being returned to QEB where they are also detained.Meanwhile sources have told us that some people from Rewa province staying and working in Suva tried to pay a visit to Ro Teimumu last night but were stopped at the QEB main entrance and told to go away.
Posted by Pacific in the Media

Analysis of Bainimarama's speech at AIDB
Frank Bainimarama's speech about media freedom at the Asia Institute for Broadcast Development conference in Nadi are in total contrast to the realities being practiced by Fiji's dictatorship regime. Coupfourpointfive has picked a few examples of Bainimarama's lies:
1. Bainimarama's claim that the Public Emergency Regulations is a temporary measure is a lie. The PER has been in force for three and a half months. Two weeks ago he told Radio Fiji that the regime intended to impose the PER for the rest of the year.
2. His claim that the PER is contributing towards a stable socio-political platform is also a horrendous lie. It is causing increasing levels of disquiet and disenchantment amongst ordinary citizens who are denied access to basic information about economy, the sugar industry, tourism, increasing levels of unemployment, rising poverty, increasing inflation, deteriorating infrastructure like water, roads and sewerage. By denying political parties and trade unions an opportunity to air grievances facing the people through the media, the regime in suppressing the truth is only hiding the rot that is spreading like cancer in the economy and its support services.
3. Bainimarama must be thinking the people of Fiji live in dreamland by saying the regime believes in media freedom and democracy. Apart from imposing absolute censorship, the regime, between February 2008 and January 2009, has deported three expatriate publishers - one from Fiji Sun and two from Fiji Times for being courageous in exposing scams and scandals. The exposure of the $2 million secret stash of Mahendra Chaudhry and deportation of two publishers over this is a perfect example.
4. His statement that the regime must support interests of media owners and journalists to make them more capable and responsible is a downright lie. What Bainimarama should have stated is that the regime is supporting those who are loyal and faithful to his dictatorship regime. Communications Fiji Ltd (owners of radio stations Legend FM, FM 96, Navtarang, Sargam & Viti FM) news director Vijay Narayan and Fiji Sun publisher Peter Lomas are perfect examples media owners and journalists who are pro-regime. Narayan has a consistent track record of obtaining exclusive interviews with Bainimarama who always refers to him by calling his first name, Vijay.
In a special Fiji Television program on the Forum Island Leaders Meeting of October 2007 held in Tonga, television footage aired during the program showed both Bainimarama walking with Narayan intimately with his arm flung over Narayan's shoulder like both were best buddies.
The standard of Fiji Sun severely declined even before the imposition of PER as soon as Peter Lomas became the new publisher. He chose to print a story about tourists on the front page of its 11th April issue instead of the abrogation of the Constitution a day earlier (see right side of blog for the article). In the editorial of that edition written by Lomas or under his directive, the newspaper preached that the regime and the New Legal Order was the reality and we should not be worried about suspension or expulsion by the Forum and Commonwealth. The regime is supporting Fiji Sun by placing civil service advertisements or statements from the interim ministers in the newspaper.

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