Saturday, June 06, 2015

MEDIA FREEDOM DOES NOT EXIST IN FIJI


Once again we encounter the ongoing practise of 'self censorship' for fear of prosecution by the media.
For the second time now, SODELPA has been denied its right to advertise its
planned Constituency meetings in Nadroga -Navosa on Tuesday 9th of June & Wednesday 10th of June by the Fiji Times no less.

Now I am not talking about the papers unwillingness to use some of the statements we issue, I am talking about their unwillingness to print a 'paid' advertisement notifying the public of our meeting schedule.
That's right even our paid advertisement's are now being withheld until they get a copy of our permit from Police. Of course we have applied for the permit 'on time' but we have to apparently wait for a 'threat analysis' of some sort in all the 10 villages where our meetings are planned.
If someone bothered to call us, I could have told them the dates and times and locations were selected not by some 'strategic' analysis, but because all our members would be attending a Parliamentary workshop at the Warrick and they have 2 nights free, so to be cost effective, we selected the surrounding villages to meet in for this first round of meetings in Nadroga Navosa.
So our planned advertisement for the bug Saturday circulation is lost, so is our planned ad for tomorrow Monday and if Police give us the approval on Monday, then we are down to the day of the meeting with which to advertise and notify the people so I'm going back to basics and will send a team of our people down to distribute flyers all over and if you can pass on the planned meetings times and dates to family and friends who live in Nadroga and Navosa, I would be grateful.
This is our reality today, this the 'Fiji First Democracy' that AK & FB boast of that some of our misguided people and most of the international community blindly 'lap up'?
As far as I am concerned, it is a farce! Call it paranoia, call it fear, call it what you will. But what you can not call it is DEMOCRACY.
Mick BEDDOES

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