July 30, 2009

PINA battens down the hatches...

Well, well, well. Lookey, look what we have here.

The Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) fights for their survival and thinks that they can hold their service of PACNEWS to ransom. There ain't no rocket science about PACNEWS -- its mostly constituted lazily from daily Google News Alerts anyway.

What's more they "bind" together hoping that they could field Stanley Simpson (who is not mainstream media) as a contender for the Presidency.

Did you also notice that only the military supporter newsrooms covered the issue?

We've got our eye's on you PINA.

PINA Secretariat to stay in Fiji
Thursday, July 30, 2009

PINA chief executive officer Matai Akoula says if the secretariat is to be relocated then its news bulletin – PACNEWS should also be moved from Fiji too.

There has been wide support to let the Pacific Islands News Association secretariat to remain in Fiji.

This was confirmed at the PINA annual general meeting held in Vanuatu yesterday where the motion came from the Cook Islands and seconded by Papua New Guinea.

The re-location of the PINA Secretariat from Fiji became an issue following the censorship of the Fiji media by the Fiji Government.

Apart from this, PINA chief executive officer Matai Akoula says if the secretariat is to be relocated then its news bulletin – PACNEWS should also be moved from Fiji too.

Akoula says this should be done because by dividing the two will only let old rivalry come to the fore again.

Meanwhile Moses Stevens has been elected the new Pacific Islands News Association president.

Stevens who is from Vanuatu was elected ahead of Fiji’s Stanley Simpson.

Stevens will now lead the pacific region’s biggest collective organisation for media practitioners.

Stevens is the publisher of the Ni-Vanuatu newspaper and was the deputy of PINA’s PACNEWS bulletin in the 1990s before the PINA secretariat was re-located to Fiji.

He replaces Joseph Ealedona who did to seek re-election as PINA president at yesterday’s AGM.

After his election, Stevens wants all media organisations from Polynesian and Melanesian countries to work together in taking PINA forward.

John Woods from the Cook Islands was elected as vice-president.

One highlight of the PINA AGM was the direction in which members want the organisation to move into the future and embrace all the changes affecting traditional media organizations.

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation LTD

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock goes the Commonwealth Clock

Commonwealth to Consider Suspending Fiji Over Election Delay
By Ed Johnson

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Commonwealth ministers will consider this week whether to suspend Fiji from the 53-nation group after the military-led government delayed elections until 2014.

At its last meeting in March, a Commonwealth committee warned Fiji it would be thrown out unless it made progress toward restoring democracy.

Since then, army chief Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power in a December 2006 coup, has rejected international demands to restore civilian government by the end of the year. His ally, President Josefa Iloilo, in April abrogated the constitution, fired the judiciary, censored the media and reappointed the military government for five years.

Suspension from the Commonwealth would see Fiji lose access to the body’s $7.5 billion aid budget and further isolate the government, which has been under international sanctions since the coup.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will meet in London July 31, according to a statement. The Commonwealth is largely composed of countries with historic links to Britain and includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

In the latest crackdown on freedom of speech, the government this month banned Fijian Methodists from holding their annual conference, saying it was too political and might encourage anti-government sentiment, the Australian Associated Press reported today.

Bainimarama says he wants to change the electoral system in the ethnically divided nation before holding a ballot. Under the present system, people in some constituencies can only vote for candidates from their ethnic community.

The 944,000-strong population is made up of 57 percent indigenous Fijians and 38 percent ethnic Indians, according to U.S. government data. Three of the nation’s four coups in the past 22 years were sparked by ethnic tensions.

Iloilo will retire as president and Vice President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will act in the position until a successor is appointed, the government said in a statement yesterday.

And once the Commonwealth lay's down the law, there is absolutely no relevance for further deliberations on Fiji during the Pacific Forum to be held in Australia -- as Bainimarama is vainly anticipating. He should know that his ally Somare was inches away from losing power only yesterday.

Meanwhile the unbeatable and up-to-date intelligence of the US State Department in it's latest testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment says:

The Situation in Fiji
The United States also remains committed to the advancement of human rights and democracy in the region through exchanges such as the International Visitors Leadership Program and partnerships like the Asia Pacific Democracy Partnership (APDP). We are proud to note that the APDP completed a successful election observation mission – under your lead – to Micronesia in March, an effort that brought together representatives of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Palau, and several Asian countries. Thank you for your efforts on this initiative. We also are encouraged by Tonga’s initial steps towards democratic reform.

Certainly the most troubling political issue facing the Pacific island countries today continues to be the situation in Fiji, which has been under military rule since December 2006. Traditionally, Fiji has been a close and valued friend and partner in the Pacific. Fiji has a long history of contributing troops to multilateral peacekeeping missions, was quick to condemn the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, and has been a staunch supporter of our efforts to build an international coalition against global terrorism.

The military coup of December 2006 has strained our relationship. Fiji’s coup leaders recently released a “roadmap to democracy” that did not take credible steps to restore democratic rule, other than a promise to begin work three years from now on a new constitution leading to elections in 2014. The public emergency regulations remain in place, the press remains heavily censored, and the right to assembly is severely restricted. Just two weeks ago, the leaders of the Methodist Church and one of Fiji’s three paramount traditional chiefs, Ro Teimumu Kepa, were arrested for planning to hold the church’s annual conference despite a government ban.

The United States responded to the Fiji coup by imposing a number of sanctions, including a cessation of military and other assistance to the Government of Fiji in accordance with section 508 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, visa bans against coup leaders, suspension of lethal military sales, and restrictions on bilateral engagement. Our sanctions are targeted against the military regime. The United States, however, continues to provide assistance to the people of Fiji. Our sanctions do not preclude assistance in support of a credible return to democracy. Such assistance would include supporting election reform efforts, as well as programs geared toward strengthening civil society, a free press, and an independent judiciary.

We continue to maintain full diplomatic relations with Fiji and look forward to closer relations when it once again resumes its leadership role in the Pacific by restoring democracy to its people.

The United States closely watches the reactions of other Pacific island leaders and the statements and actions of the Pacific Island Forum, which suspended Fiji in May. We believe that the return of democracy in Fiji will depend on the restoration of such basic human rights as freedom of speech and assembly.

July 29, 2009

Deception & Treachery within the ranks of the Media

Well no wonder our media aren't very successful with the unjust gagging by the illegal and treasonous military regime!

One would THINK that as a bloc of professionals, media freedom would be the common rallying call but NO. It appears that PINA wants to "dialogue"! How can they dialogue when their lips are being bent into words that portray the military regime in a positive light.

Radio NZ's news story on PINA's shameful deception and treachery speaks volumes.

PINA should hang their heads in shame. What's more they can now count on We The People to vote them out of business with our pockets.

They simply cannot be trusted give us the fair, impartial news that we deserve.

Update: We have been advised that the PINA Training Manager is Matai Akaoula. Akaoula also runs the PINA office in Suva.

Akaoula is the main instigator of this soft approach towards the military. His son is an officer with the military.

We are also informed that both Akaoula and PINA journalist Makereta Komai have conducted workshops on media training with military officers, yet they continue to be gagged.

The PINA Office, as is being moved by many regional journo's, must move out of Fiji if it is to remain impartial.

July 28, 2009

Sayonara Iloilo

President Retires
Publish date/time: 28/07/2009 [17:13]

The President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo has announced his retirement from his position.

Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has made the announcement after visiting the President earlier today.

Vice President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will act as Fiji's President until the substantive appointment is made.

Commodore Bainimarama said cabinet will advice the Chief Justice about the new appointment.

Breaking: What Bainimarama is stealing from our mouths

We've been hand-wringing, wailing, gnashing our teeth about the first-class daylight robbery that is happening with our acquiesence but as always the proof is in the pudding. So here's the proof.

You have, since 4th September 2007, been paying for an illegal and treasonous coupster but you should know now how much he's been raking in (it could be more now that he holds more portfolio's) and laughing all the way to the bank while he's at it.

What's more we can add Aiyaz, the soon-to-retire Rupeni Nacewa and Iloilo Uluivuda to the mix of "aiding the abetting" the thievery...check out their hand-written notes to each other on the last page. Even the shakey hand-written scrawl of Uluivuda is nicely captured.

All the while innocent civil servants and taxpayers are being made redundant or are kicked out of jobs they swot hard for AND suffering under an illegal devaluation.

Click on each image for a better view.

Egg on your face MUCH Lance Corporal Talei Tora?

Fiji editor walk outs at Pacific media meet
Created: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 08:05:53 GMT+1200
Sean Dorney, Australia Network correspondent
Last Updated: 7 hours 26 minutes ago

The Editor-in-Chief of the Fiji Times has walked out of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) conference in Vanuatu, in protest at having to share a panel with the Fiji interim government's censor.

The editor, Netani Rika said he could not sit with the people who were showing the Fiji media "no respect back at home" and excused himself from the panel.

Earlier, Mr Rika delivered an address to a conference session called "Shooting the messenger: Intimidation and violence against Pacific Media practitioners".

Mr. Rika had detailed instances of intimidation and harassment his journalists had faced from the military-led government.

The representative from the Fiji Ministry of Information, Lance Corporal Talei Tora defended the country's severe censorship saying the Fiji media were irresponsible.

Media delegates from other island countries questioned the presence of the lance corporal.

Other delegates suggested Fiji's Information Ministry should be expelled from PINA membership because of its role in enforcing the military-led government's censorship of the news in Fiji.

Sean Dorney moderated the panel involving Netani Rika.

Sing Methodists Sing!

July 27, 2009
Revolutionary Choirs of Fiji?
Ah, those Methodist choirs:
Hymns become latest revolt trigger in Fiji
By Kim Cain

Melbourne, Australia, 27 July (ENI)--Charles Wesley, the great Methodist hymn writer, may have penned his famous words "O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer praise" almost 270 years ago, but it seems just singing these words today in strife-torn Fiji could destabilise a whole government.

The military government of interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has agitated the normally harmonious voice of Fijian Methodists by attempting to stop the church's conference from taking place in late August.

A Fiji court order on 23 July silenced two top Methodist Church ministers and paramount chief, Ro Teimumu Kepa. They were charged with defying the Public Emergency Regulation over the church's annual conference which they had planned.

Ro Teimumu along with the church's president, the Rev. Ame Tugaue, and its secretary general, the Rev. Tuikilakila Waqairatu, were granted bail after being held in custody for two days, and ordered to appear in court in three weeks. They had to surrender all their travel documents and are banned from having any meetings for 21 days, and are not allowed to be seen in public or to conduct anything that might be construed to be a meeting.

It is believed to be the first time a Fijian government has clashed so openly with the Methodist church, which many residents say has a reputation for moderation, conservative social values and harmony. About one third of Fiji's almost one million people are Methodists.

In the days leading up to the conference it is normal for up to 10 000 singing Fijians to gather together for the nation's biggest social gathering: the Fijian choir hymn singing contest. Fiji is as renowned for its choir singing as for its electrifying brand of rugby football.

Now church members say the government has also banned the choral feast, fearing it will lead to further political instability. But in a show of religious conviction and support for their church leaders that may have political reverberations for the fragile hold on power by Bainimarama, it is rumoured that many more choirs will make their way to Suva to sing their hymns of God's power and might.

Sources have told Ecumenical News International that between 20 000 and 50 000 Fijian Methodists are planning to descend on the area around the national capital, Suva, to ensure the hymn singing - and the church conference - goes ahead.

"The tension is growing and there is a great deal of anger," an Australian church leader who has had regular contacts within Fiji, told ENI.

People are concerned that it will just take a clash between a couple of angry young people and the military for violence to erupt, he said.

"While there may be only two roads into the area around the airport and the military may think they can control the area, many are concerned that 50 000 people will be beyond their capacity and then they may resort to violence," he stated.

Meanwhile ENI has learned that Methodist church leaders are reported to be finding alternative leadership structures to deal with the muzzling of their president and general secretary, who are now under strict bail terms which prevent them from talking to more than one person at a time.

At this stage, the church is determined to hold its annual conference, which usually brings together up to 1000 church leaders for a week of discussion, celebration and singing. It is the supreme decision-making body for the Methodist church.

ENI has been told that many church members will still attend the location of the conference, even if the church leaders call the gathering off.

Radio New Zealand has reported that Fijian church leaders are afraid that their electronic communications - telephone and email - are being monitored by the government.

As the stand off between the church and the military grows, the national assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia, which includes former Methodists, has pledged its "prayerful support" for the Fijian church, sending an envoy to Suva as a sign of support for the Methodists.

[Ecumenical News International, reprinted with permission]

July 24, 2009

RIP Fellah's

Eyewitnesses are relaying that 2 military men out of the group that arrived to pick up Rev Tomasi Kanailagi for questioning earlier this week, passed away early this morning.

July 23, 2009

Methodists Not Budging

The Methodist Church remains steadfast and refuses to budge on their intent to hold their conference.

There could be wave after wave of believers willing to face persecution and oppression for the Lord's work (as is foretold in the good book). This time Bainimarama has picked a fight with the wrong foe - God.

Let's see how many methodists the military can round up and charge with incitement, before they collapse in exhaustion or run out of holding capacity.

July 22, 2009

Kinivuwai Released

We have been informed that SDL's spokesman Peceli Kinivuwai has been released.

BREAKING: Viliame Gonelevu also taken up by military

Reports are surfacing that Viliame Gonelevu has also been taken up by the military.

Gonelevu has close affiliations with the Methodist Church and is a former politician. Reasons for his detention remain unclear.

BREAKING: More being taken up

Reports are now surfacing that the military are rounding up more innocent civilians in their attempt to stem the open defiance against their wishes for the Methodist Conference not to go ahead. The police are no longer being used for these detentions signalling the stepping up of military intimidation by the military regime.

SDL spokesman Peceli Kinivuwai is the latest individual to have soldiers waiting to escort him away for detention.

Last night it is understood that 3 Methodist clerics: Manasa Lasaro, Tuikilakila Waqairatu and Tomasi Kanailagi were each escorted up to the military camp with an entourage of 4 military twin-cabs for EACH cleric.

It is understood that Tuikilakila Waqairatu is the author of a communication to Bainimarama advising him that closing down the Methodist Conference "Bose Ko Viti" would be an unwise move that has resulted in the latest retaliatory moves by the military.

Once again the military is miscalculating the quickly changing mood on the ground.

Ro Teimumu Kepa and another Methodist cleric detained

Reports are surfacing that the Gone Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa was detained at midnight last night.

It is also understood that another senior cleric of the Methodist Church was also taken in at about 10pm. There are no updates on the four clerics who were detained yesterday.

It is believed that an open letter penned by the Roko Tui Dreketi is the cause of her detention.

The Roko Tui Drekei is the aunt of military 3FIR chief, Roko Ului Mara.

Meanwhile the Asia Institute for Broadcast Development (AIBD) conference being held at Denarau, Nadi was opened by the illegal and treasonous Frank Bainimarama. Reports from Denarau highlighted that no local broadcasting media chose to grace the event which did not go unnoticed by their counter-parts. Bainimarama defended his military regime's right to clamp down on local media freedom during his opening speech.

The only local broadcasting rep present was Riyaz Saiyed Khaiyum who is the brother of the illegal and treasonous Attorney General, Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum.

(Update: We are reliably informed that FBC Board member and ex-SPC media specialist, Yaminiasi Gaunavou aka YG is also present at this forum).

July 21, 2009

What does Frank hope to achieve...

...by detaining senior clerics of the Methodist Church?

Whatever is churning in the small nub of a brain of his, it's all driven by panic. Again.

July 16, 2009

Take a Bow Bainimarama...

Even if blogs are giving you pains in your posterior, without our help AGAIN, you and your lot have successfully managed to round up more unnecessary attention with the latest "sorcery" allegations.

Perhaps your people don't know what living in an "discrimation free" Fiji, as per your visionary spew, means.

In one day the international media have been reminded AGAIN about the gross illegal & treasonous incompetence that is your leadership. Check it:

Not only have you landed your wantok Somare again in unnecessary hot water for inconsistency, you have managed to splinter the Pacific once again.

Somare sure is a patient man letting you run riot all over Melanesia. His allegiance (or insistent memory jogging of allegiance by certain individuals) for Rt Mara must know no bounds.

Thank goodness people like Samoan PM Tuilaepa are not going to back down any time soon.

And on that note neither will We The People.

Keep your foolywang stunts up. It really is valuable "round the tanoa" entertainment during these troubled times.

July 15, 2009

Blogs Irk Bainimarama

Ha! So we do annoy the good ol' (illegal and treasonous) Numero Uno pretender.

Mofo we just getting warmed up because it's one area where We The People will rule.

Don’t read blogs, says Fiji military leader
Posted at 04:57 on 15 July, 2009 UTC

Fiji’s interim Prime Minister has dismissed claims that there’s been a change in the military leadership.

A Fiji military spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, denied internet reports that Colonel Pita Driti and Colonel Roko Ului Mara had taken over the military’s leadership from Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The reports were carried by blogs, which have gained a media role amid the continued censorship imposed as part of the emergency regulations.

Commodore Bainimarama has told Auckland’s Radio Tarana the claims are a non-issue.

“Reading into blogsites is not doing anybody any good. It is a waste of time, people who read it have nothing else to do, nothing good. Whoever is reading blogsites would get stirred and they get depressed and that’s the whole purpose of them. My advice is, don’t read blogsites.”

July 14, 2009

Melanesian Leaders Resolutions


10 JULY 2009


Pursuant to Article 9 (4) of the MSG constitution, the Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), in consultation with other MSG Leaders, agreed to convene a Special Retreat of the MSG Leaders at the Crystal Blue Lagoon Resort, Efate, Vanuatu on 10th July 2009.

The Special Retreat was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Edward Nipake Natapei. MSG Leaders in attendance included the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Right Honorable Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare; the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua; the Prime Minister of Fiji, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama; and Hon. Victor Tutugoro, Spokesperson of the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS).

Also attending were the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Solomon Islands, Hon. William Haomae, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Vanuatu, Hon. Joe Natuman, Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to Fiji Mr Peter Eafeare, Hon Charles Wea, member of the Assembly of the Loyalty Islands Province and the Director General of the MSG Secretariat Mr Rima Ravusiro.

The MSG Leaders thanked the government and people of Vanuatu for hosting this special retreat which they considered very important not only for Fiji but to member countries for solidarity on issues affecting the members.

Political Situation in Fiji

· Fiji Strategic Framework for Change
MSG leaders noted the government of Fiji’s “Strategic Framework for Change” which was announced on 1 July 2009. The Framework sets out key milestones and timelines on major political and structural reforms which are necessary for sustainable democracy. A major component of this reform agenda is the formulation of a new constitution that will ensure equal suffrage for all people of Fiji including electoral reforms.

Leaders noted that the Framework reflected a clear vision and strategic direction for far reaching changes that the people of Fiji would need in order to achieve sustainable democracy.

· Fiji and the Pacific Islands Forum
Leaders acknowledged the central role Fiji plays in the Pacific region, particularly within the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and its associated agencies, and called on members of the Pacific Islands Forum and development partners to engage in open and constructive dialogue with Fiji.

Leaders noted the importance of Fiji being continuously engaged in the PIF and the MSG.

Leaders further recognize the importance of collective and inclusive group engagement in pursuing their common interests in the region, including economic co-operation arrangements.

Leaders recognized Fiji’s right to participate in regional trade and economic co-operation agreements such as PICTA, PACER-plus and the interim EPA. The exclusion of Fiji from discussions of these agreements would be invalid and therefore the decisions pertaining to those agreements would be null and void.

Leaders directed the MSG Secretariat to assess the possible legal and other practical consequences to the Pacific ACP states and MSG of Fiji’s non-participation in respect to PICTA, PACER-plus, interim EPA and report back to Leaders before the Forum Meeting in Cairns, Australia.

· Reconciliation and Dialogue: Way to Democracy
MSG Leaders urged the Government of Fiji to engage all leaders of Fiji in its implementation process through a nation-wide reconciliation and dialogue. MSG leaders called for a reconciliation process which would pave the way for open and genuine dialogue amongst Leaders at all levels of Fiji society, towards promoting the principles and practices of democracy.

MSG Leaders offered support to assist the government of Fiji towards building commitment and capacity for genuine dialogue and reconciliation consistent with Melanesian values and traditional practices.

Date and Venue of next MSG Leaders’ Summit Meeting
Leaders reaffirmed Fiji’s offer to host the next MSG Leaders’ Summit in 2010.

Signed at the Crystal Blue Lagoon Resort, Efate, Vanuatu on 10th July 2009.

July 10, 2009

Samoan PM: Fijians Must Take to the Streets Peacefully

People of Fiji urged by Samoan PM to peacefully demonstrate against the country's military regime
9 July 2009

Samoa is taking a hard line against Fiji in advance of the Pacific Forum, saying Fiji's destiny is in the hands of its own people.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who hosted John Key in Apia yesterday, believes Fiji has been treated more than fairly, after failing to meet the Forum's deadline to announce democratic elections.

Mr Malielegaoi says the Fijian people must take to the streets to demonstrate against the military regime. He says there does not need to be an uprising and Fijians can do many things peacefully to show their opinion.

He says talk of a "Pacific family" being promoted by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples falls on deaf ears in Fiji.