Thursday, November 23, 2006

Does the media beat up stories?

Does the media beat up stories?

From Peceli

What is the truth behind the morning news stories? On the TV, on the radio, there is all this talk about Fiji and other countries such as Iraq and Lebanon, and it’s always sensational and about death or threats. Stories from Tonga last week. A story about Fiji this morning. We heard that the Australian ships heading for Tonga will now go back to be near Fiji!

On our morning TV we saw Alexander Downer, Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, speaking again, saying there is clear evidence that Commodore Frank Bainimarama is planning a coup in the next couple of weeks.

Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes in Fiji said that a total number of ten politicians, civil servants and former military officers are now under investigation for allegedly inciting the Army Commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama to act against the government.

Police Commissioner Hughes reveals that intelligence received has confirmed that these people have been actively involved in exploiting the military and advising the RFMF on its ‘clean up’ campaign.

Following the Fiji Police Commissioner, Hughes’s statement, Downer said that Fiji's justice system should be allowed to do its job and he supports the role of Andrew Hughes. Downer said Fiji police should do their work and if they feel they have charges to bring, then they should do that, and prosecutors should take those matters up and they should be considered by the courts. Downer said it’s not for the army to intervene in the legal processes of a country.

My view is that if the Fiji President was strong enough, we wouldn’t have got to this stage. He should have spoken up clearly and say threats are not on. The President, with his vanua power and his position as President is the one to stop this continuing trouble. Seems like lots of people just do not know what they are doing. Fiji is in a wilderness and needs strong direction. The spirit of the vanua of Fiji is haunting us now and surely wanting us to do the right thing.

What do you think? How can the current situation be solved?


Ms. Vakaivosavosa said...

Ni sa bula vinaka

I think Downer genuinely thinks that the Army is about to do what it has been talking about the last 12 months.In his lateline interview he is talking about the Biketawa Declaration, in effect warning Bainimarama, plus he doesn't want Australia to be accused after the fact of napping on the job. So Hughes has warned army officers not to follow illegal orders and civilians not to accept any talk of an interim govt.

As for the media, its about getting readers to buy the paper and to click the link - see [] which talks about 'endless rounds of mediation' which has only just started (strangely the army today met with the GCC committee).

Either of the Army's 2 options (coup or the govt acceding and resigning voluntarily) will cost Fiji millions in the short term and more in the long term - we'll have to have elections, an interim administration and then the economic downturn from even less tourists and even less investment(already happening), investors will pull out and we'll have to rebuild. A violent coup where the Army shoots corrupt people which is a rumour that has gone thru Suva - that they have a 'hit list' will cost Fiji even more.

I heard today that a way for the Army to save face is to present a matanigasau to the President. Even then, they will have to trust the govt to relook at the 3 draft laws (Bills) and the many other parts of their demand. But a gun doesn't make Qarase and Chaudhry enthusiastic about sharing power and doesn't solve our other problems. But sitting down to talk is a start if we are to prevent a coup. The law should take its course.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you. It is good that there was a discussion today between the Council of Chiefs committee and some of the military. That is a starting point.
The various points of contention have to be taken seriously but threatening and frightening the general public is not the way.
Peceli is drinking kava with a friend at present so I am commenting responding to your comment first.

David Stanley said...

I can't believe Bainimarama will actually carry out a coup as the medicine would be far worse than the disease. I think a lot of people are just repositioning themselves at the moment. The army has done us all a favor by speaking out against amnesties for the Speight thugs and the privatization of Fiji's shoreline, even though that isn't really the army's role. Has Chaundry been quieter than usual lately, or that just my imagination? Is it possible that he's waiting for Bainimarama and Qarase to blow each other away, allowing him (Chaundry) to re-emerge as Mr. Nice Guy in the middle? That might not be a bad outcome as Chaundry would probably still be the legal prime minister of Fiji today if it hadn't been for the Speight coup which initially brought Qarase to office. Aren't Fiji politics interesting?

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It is not 'interesting' but it is painful for those of us with a passion for Fiji and with family in Fiji. Life in Suva is difficult enough with no water in the taps half the time - without this heavy cloud over the head of people.

Whether it's for real, or a beat-up, well, time will tell. It is crazy to self-destruct a fine country. Smart people with a clear eye and head need to stop the shift into chaos.