Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fiji and Papua New Guinea riding the same wave


It is not too difficult to work out that Papua New Guinea and Fiji are using different surf boards but are catching and riding the same wave.

The military regime in Fiji could not have found a better time to announce the decree which places the future of Fiji Times in a critical position, than the same hour when PNG was making a mockery of the parliamentary democracy.

This was the same hour when PNG was blatantly misleading parliament to entertain a motion that merely sought the consent of the house for candidate for the Governor General’s post and turning it into an actual vote unbeknown to the members.

It seems that in the confusion they all forgot that this case could well be a clear breach of parliamentary privilege and the mover of the motion and its seconded should be referred to the parliamentary privileges committee for misleading parliament.

But the privilege that you and I have for which we cannot be referred to that same committee is this and the fact that we are able to pen our views on any subject without being gagged and regulated against.

And this is where I am led to openly express a profound feeling of guilt for not speaking out enough for our colleagues in Fiji especially at the Fiji Times at their hour of need.

I can only imagine  what it must be like  for  fellow  journalists and staff of Fiji Times in a delicate balancing act  between the ethics of journalism and trying to pull  together  to uphold the principals of  free press while at the same time trying to explain to their  children that that Bainimarama  is giving them the rope to hang themselves.

We in the news business in PNG have come close to that situation but I suppose to make any moves against the Post-Courier or The National would cause a public revolt   and you and I know that we too have friends in high places.

But I have absolutely no idea as to what has prevented us from speaking out for our colleagues in Fiji.

Bainimarama’s focus has been on the most-powerful firepower in the free world and that is the press.

He has now resorted to a military tactic where he is up against a superior enemy and finding that he cannot match them fire for fire, he is cutting off their supply line.

Rupert Murdoch is just as able a commander as Bainimarama himself and Murdoch has not fired his first shot.

This fight is also our fight and we have not engaged you.

If the Fiji Press cannot speak out, we should be that mouth piece.

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