Thursday, July 22, 2010

Newspaper should have toed the line, Fijian dictator says

by James Madden From: The Australian 
July 22, 2010 

FRANK Bainimarama has no regrets about the likely closure of The Fiji Times, claiming the newspaper -- like the rest of the country's media -- needed to "toe the line".

The Fijian dictator said he was not willing to negotiate with News Limited (owner of The Fiji Times, and publisher of The Australian) to keep the country's most widely read newspaper afloat, and the decree demanding 90 per cent ownership of local media would remain in place.

Given the crackdown on foreign ownership, it is unlikely that any proprietor will take over the newspaper before the September deadline. Without the availability of foreign funds the 140-year-old newspaper, which has been wholly owned by News Limited since 1987, will almost certainly fold.

Up to 1200 people could be left unemployed, including the 180 staff of The Fiji Times, and a further 1000 people in jobs associated with the country's largest media company.

In an interview with The Australian , Commodore Bainimarama said the decree to remove foreign ownership was introduced "to bring about transparency to the media".

"The reasons have been explained in the media decree . . . I guess, like everything else, people need to toe the line, including The Fiji Times."

Commodore Bainimarama said he had no regrets about the newspaper's likely closure.

"We are trying to come up with reforms. I don't have any regrets when we want to put the new Fiji together," he said.

Commodore Bainimarama also said The Fiji Times' management and the Australian management team should be held responsible for the impending closure and the consequent loss of jobs. "The Fiji Times management team knew about this long before all this (the decree), so really the people that work for The Fiji Times should be looking at the management, not me," he said.

Asked if he was bothered by the fact that the newspaper continually refused to refer to him as the Prime Minister, Commodore Bainimarama said: "Not any more."

News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan said the company was committed to achieving the best outcome for the Fijian newspaper and its staff.

"We are disappointed with the Fiji interim government's decision but we will comply with it. We have engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a sale process for The Fiji Times. We hope the transaction concludes within the government's deadline to avoid the loss of local jobs."

Comments posted on
  • The illegal dictator of Fiji is going to see and feel what censorship of the Press will do to him. The more decrees he makes on the Fiji Media the more fun we will have in telling the truth about his criminal activities.The Fiji times leaving Fiji is a legacy that will be mired in incompetence and low quality of leadership on Bainimarama's part as the illegal Prime Minister of Fiji. Foreign Investments are turning away from Fiji because of the Media decree and yet Bainimarama's arrogance and stupidity has made blind to such realities.
  • The Fijian People are suffering because of the economic downturn but Bainimarama still turn a blind eye to the realities of what is happening and still concerntrate on legitimicing his criminal activities.
  • What will it take Bai? A bullet in your head from one of your men who will turn on you when you run out of money? Or when suddenlu one of your followers sees the light of your criminal actiovities? You better choose now Bainimarama or you will have a bullet with no name.
  • Bainimarama is like a child who wants to show off his authority to other kids because he has it. In this case as you said guns. But the days of having the guns are just about running out. The media decree is a bad idea because it shows us how Bainimarama does not know what he is doing. He talks about reviving the economy but he goe out of his way to destroy the economy. He talks about transparency but cuts out the only avenue to do away with corruption by the media decrees. He talks about alienating Australia and NZ but he will in the end turn to them for help.
  • The Engaging Fiji Meeting is a way for Bainimarama to show that the Pacific Island Nations are with him but what hje does bot realise that these leaders are in Fiji for a free stay in exclusive hotels where the drinks are free and so is the food and the Fijian Taxpayers are the one forking the bills of a meeting that Australia and NZ will in the end decide what will happen to its outcome.
  • He is a fool who signifies nothing with his idealism. What a waste Bainimarama is, so is Epeli Ganilau and Epeli Nailatikau.
  • Typical of a dictator; blaming everyone for the wrong he did; but himself. The arrogant fool! How many mouths will he deny bread for him to have a feeling for the people's sufferings? This man has no brain and no conscience to feel the sufferings that the people are going through because of his guilt. He will be made to pay, and pay dearly for his crime. "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
  • Bainimarama is saying that this meeting signifies the solidarity of the Pacific island nations. Ehat he is not saying is that this will be his O group to the Pacific Island leaders who already know that he is a criminal an a leader who used force to get into Power.The leaders are coming to Fiji not because they support Bainimarama but because they are worried about Fiji's general populace who have been denied their human rights by this very repressive illegal regime. After Engaging Fiji all the Island States that went to the Fiji meeting will be meeting again as PIF reps where they will discuss Fiji's fate with out Fiji's participation. Isn't that a snub for Fiji who is suspended from the PIF? In your face you A? Hole dictator.
  • Vore didn’t seem to get it the first time—when he objected saying that he got stabbed in the back by Vanuatu’s PM. He couldn’t see it coming or more importantly understand why? Little did he suspect that it was only the beginning—after all he was a lawless thug who came to power through treasonous means—no one respects thugs? Should they?

    Totally true, like you said, the good that will come out of this meeting is that for the other nation’s leaders to get a glimpse of what is really happening in Fiji. Of course Vore will try to charm them in every way possible with his “road map to democracy and sustainable development” in an attempt to “pull the wool over their eyes.” But no matter how much he tried, many of these leaders will be able to draw their own conclusions regarding the progress (or lack of it) made by this illegal government.

    Come to think of it—the only thing new that Vore can pass on to these leaders that they already don’t know or have is “how to overthrow an elected government by force.” How to forcefully get things done—either by hook or by crook—the dictator’s way? Other than that, most of these leaders would be able to see through Vores smoke screen of deception in his claims of “cleaning up corruption in government and getting rid of race based politics.” Vores true intentions of taking over government by force lay elsewhere.

    In the end, after all is said and done and everyone had drawn their own conclusions about Vores illegal government—Vore will still be alone as ever. He needs to get used to it; he doesn’t belong with the rest. After all he is the only dictator in the whole South Pacific? Vore will still be using force and injustice to get things his way and remain in power—there is no other avenue open to him but to step down or speedily return the country to elections which would mean his end.

    Interesting to see how many of these leaders will continue to pamper Vore’s illegal government and how many will speak the truth and say it as it is—the deteriorating concern for Fiji’s people. The hardship they faced while living under Vore’s repressive government; a government that is increasingly going more broke by the week. What a drastic situation to be in—no real helpful friends and having empty coffers?

    Seems like Vore is headed for a “dead-end”—either way you interpret it, LOL!

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