It is 1984 in Fiji

April 17th, 2009 at 6:09 am by David Farrar

The Herald has an example of the media censorship now occurign in . It is like they are in Orwell’s 1984:

THE REAL STATEMENT

Statement by Commissioner Louis Michel on the situation in Fiji:

Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid, expressed deep regret and disappointment regarding recent regressive developments in Fiji; in particular the abrogation of the Constitution, the sacking of all judges, the delay of general elections until 2014 and the curtailment of freedom of speech.

Commissioner Michel said: “These developments are unacceptable for the international community. Commitments must be respected. An early and inclusive domestic political process leading to a return to constitutional order and democracy in Fiji will allow us to provide assistance to Fiji, at a time when global economic prospects are becoming increasingly difficult.”

THE CENSORED REPORT

EU ready to assist Fiji
Fiji’s largest donor the European Union has again extended a helping hand.

Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid, today said the EU wants to assist Fiji “at a time when global economic prospects are becoming increasingly difficult”.

The EU is looking to provide substantial financial support to rescue the sugar sector and help restore the economy.

Once again it does not matter how much one does or does not agree with the Commodore’s purported aims. This sort of censorship should and must be resisted. Media and press freedom is even more important than the right to vote in my books – the right to communicate, the right to just know the truth is paramount. A Government that arrests journalists (and bloggers if it could work out who they are) for reporting the truth has no redeeming qualities.

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9 Responses to “It is 1984 in Fiji”

  1. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,810 comments) says:

    Next thing you know Fiji will be introducing a law similar to New Zealand’s old EFA.

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  2. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    >A Government that arrests journalists (and bloggers if it could work out who they are) for reporting the truth has no redeeming qualities.

    So we should toss out the free trade agreement with China, and instead institute a set of sanctions towards them?

    [DPF: Oh don't be stupid. Just because some countries are dictatorships is no reason not to fight against further countries joining them. The key thing is the trend. Over time China is becoming more free. Fiji is becoming less free]

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  3. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    A UN protectorate might be the best option. Qarase wasn’t going to head off communal strife and it looks like Bainimarama will fall victim to the temptations of power.

    The lesson is moving from colonial rule to democracy in situations where there is high risk of communal violence is not easy and leaving it purely up to those involved may not be a good idea.

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  4. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    davidp, looks like you hit a target there. Yes, we should toss out our “free trade”agreement with China. It was crap right from the start.

    DPF – where is this increase of freedom in China? Freedom for capitalist robber barons to set up sweat shops?

    What Fiji shows, more than anything else, is the folly of mixing incompatible races.

    [DPF: Freedom from poverty for a start. Around 300 million Chinese have been lifted above the poverty line. Secondly citizens can criticise the Govt much more openly now - there are limits but they have shifted. Travel overseas also a lot easier]

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  5. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    DPF>The key thing is the trend.

    Then you’ve changed your statement from an absolute “has no redeeming qualities” to “might have redeeming qualities if there is an improvement in living standards”. That leaves a lot more room to argue about the merits of replacing the previous government, a course of action which seems to have the support of large numbers of Fijians.

    [DPF: The important trend is the trend in freedom of speech. Even if he was Mother Theresa, he should be opposed for stealing a free press]

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  6. pkiwi (111 comments) says:

    Orwell was right, again, unfortunately:

    “There is no need to speculate as to what happened, how it happened, what should have happened or what should not have happened. What is, is now, and the future,” Bainimarama said. (on Stuff today).

    “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”
    - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3

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  7. Rex Widerstrom (5,253 comments) says:

    While agreeing entirely with what you say, David, I can’t help noting that such mangled reportage wouldn’t look out of place in some of the NZ MSM. It’s just that the motive behind it would be cost cutting rather than censorship.

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  8. dave (985 comments) says:

    yes the medi ais writing stories like this now

    It’s official: a man went out.

    Neighbours reported that they saw him go out last night.

    ‘I thought he was just mad’, a woman opined while asking to remain anonymous.Another neighbour said he saw him open his door about ten o’clock.

    ‘Arreh, he went out’, he added.

    When approached, the alleged man admitted to stunned reporters, ‘OK, yes, I went out’.

    But he was unable to give a reason why.Asked if he would try it again, the man said, ‘yes, I think I like going out’.

    Asked where he would go, the man said ‘out’.

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  9. rightrightbloodywellright (14 comments) says:

    Famous Quotes #86

    “Fiji, the way the World should be”

    R. Mugabe

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