April 09, 2010

Who will stand by the Fiji Times?

The death of media freedom is more or less a foregone conclusion, and the illegal & treasonous Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum despite whinging about the "hysterical frenzy" surrounding his illegal media muzzling controls, wants it in place by the end of the month if all goes according to plan.

We however would surmise that the major focus of this flawed "law" is the specific and explicit targetting of the Fiji Times.

All those involved in the 2006 coup have an axe to grind with the Times and they have unfortunately and conveniently bundled it up as pay-back allegations of "slanted views" against the Murdoch owned entity.  Check out for yourself their long-standing tussles with the Fiji Times: Neumi Leweni, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Shaiystaer Shameem, Jim Anthony, Pita Driti and of course the chief coupster Bainimarama.

Granted the Fiji Times may have, from time to time, been factually incorrect -- this transgression is one that all media outlets succumb to from time to time. And let's not forget that there exists to this day a process in which to make one's media grievances known and toothless or otherwise, it was an independent process that allowed the media to be self-regulated.

But who will stand by Fiji Times in the face of a heinous crime that is about to be illegalized by decree?

The question we pose is not about favouring one media outlet over the other, but is a challenge to you, the people, to defend what appears to be the ever eroding bastions of a free Fijian society.

The assault on media freedom is also an assault on your access to factual information about how your taxpaying dollars is being used. Limits to media freedom also limit your right to voice concerns about the running of the country.

Essentially that means that you merely cough up taxes pay-day after pay-day and let the military regime run amuck with your money regardless of the fact that you can't get sugar, butter, running water, proper roads etc.

Today it is the Fiji Times. 

Tomorrow it could well be Fiji TV or (as per the convenient rallying calls of "ethno-nationalism" that Khaiyum appears to be championing these days), the hotel industry.

That's right.

If, for the sake of consistency, one were to impose the same foreign ownership criteria [refer to draft Media Decree under Part 7 (sections 35-36)], on the tourism industry we could probably kiss the tourism industry good-bye.

According to local laws there are visa restrictions on skilled expats. To take the example of the tourism industry, expat hotel executives can only be hired if the hotel can prove that there is no local expertise available. 

To validate that local expertise is unavailable as well as confirm the hotel's commitment to building local knowledge, the hotel advertises locally and submits a training regimen that the expat will implement to ensure localisation of skills and knowledge.

Of course the roles are never filled locally and the Immigration Department is flooded with fake ads and training programmes that they have no expertise in cross-checking the effectiveness of.

So. The point of that example is to suggest that if consistency is applied across the board and we say good-bye to the Fiji Times, we inherently also agree to a precedent that can be replicated across the private sector. No holds barred.

The military regime's control is no longer limited to public service entities as long as they simply roll out illegal decrees that remain untransparent and unchallenged by We the People.


Anonymous said...

Check this comment out by a Bhaini-m fan...on FB's facebook page created by young Kulinas!!
"Rasa Manjari Thats one reason demoncrazy is inferior. the lowest class (majority) votes. Of course the ideal called democracy is not exising any more, it is government run by big money, which are the third class men and less. Same with forced public schooling and media on demand. The higher classes need to set the higher standard and the lower need to come up-not the other way around." unquote. http://www.facebook.com/Commodore.Bainimarama

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Anonymous said...

IMF coup of all you got FIJI. Check out whats happened to every county thats taken IMF money. End of your money. Really bad bad news check it out. Petrol, butter, milk, just the start.