June 06, 2013

Qorvis claims that military regime led 'Guvment' is unsustainable and run by six people

Professor Robert Hooper is no stranger to the issue of media freedom in Fiji.

Like Dr Marc Edge, he too taught at the University of the South Pacific and continues to keep a keen eye on the developments (or lack thereof), facing media practitioners under the illegal and treasonous military regime.

In a recent paper, Prof Hooper details a systematic analysis of evidence backing up his claims but tucked away on page 53 is the heart of the matter:
"Back at the hotel, a fellow American beckoned me over to his table to share a fine bottle of wine. He worked for Qorvis Communications, a large Washington, DC public relations firm hired by Fiji's government 'to modernise how it communicates it messages'. He told me Frank (Prime Minister Bainimarama) was late to the PINA Summit because of last minute revisions he (the American) had to make to Frank's talk. He argued that to make political progress in Fiji he must help the Bainimarama regime change 'how it communicates its messages'. It was all outlined on a website back in Washington. 
I asked how such spin could lead to political change when journalists are punished for covering opposition figures or questioning the legitimacy of Fiji's judiciary after the constitution was abrogated. 'They know it's not sustainable,' he sighed. 'Six people are running the entire government.' I interpreted this to mean that elections promised for 2014 will take place. But will they be free and fair? Will Fiji's Attorney-General pull Fiji TV's license to silence opposition candidates? He smiled, swirled his wine glass, took a sniff and pronounced that good deeds follow good words. A convincing argument but pure rubbish from from a public relations flock for a totalitarian government."
Check out the most enlightening paper for yourself.

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