March 30, 2012

Fiji Village: There was no request to ask the PM questions-PINA

Publish date/time: 30/03/2012 [08:08]

An Australian journalist attending the Pacific Islands News Association Summit in Pacific Harbor claims the leadership of PINA had something to do with the journalists attending the summit not allowed to ask Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama any questions when he opened the meeting earlier this week.

Radio Australia's Bruce Hill said in a report that he found out that the leadership of the Pacific Islands News Association or PINA did not want questions to be asked.

According the report, Fiji's Ministry of Information told Hill that PINA has imposed censorship on its own media gathering at the Pacific Media Summit.

Hill said journalists were told that there would no questions entertained.

He said the journalists attending were looking forward to asking the Prime Minister some questions.

PINA Media Manager, Matai Akauola said it would not have been right in the Pacific or Fijian culture to door-stop the Prime Minister after the official opening.

Akauola said there was no request made for time for journalists attending the media summit to ask questions and it was improper to do that.

Permanent Secretary for Information, Sharon Smith-Johns said Hill is misleading the people.

Fijivillage questioned Smith-Johns on whether Hill had called her about the issue. She said Hill had asked but they need to understand that PINA asked the Prime Minister to officially open the media summit, not to have a media conference.

She said she never said to Hill that PINA had asked the Prime Minister not to take any questions.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

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