Friday, May 22, 2009

Two Sides to the Story (At Least)

There's at least two sides to every story. And the truth may lie somewhere in between.


It is in the interest of balance in journalism that we published a Press Release sent to us by the Citizen Constitutional Forum (CCF).


This created a flurry of emails from all and sundry, some commending us and some not so pleasant ones.


Well, Loyal Fijian stands for Fairness and Freedom.


Loyal Fijian does not believe in telling people what to think, but encourage people to think for themselves.


It is in this pursuit that we have decided to publish another press release from the CCF, this one in relation to the Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC).


But not without adding our voice of reason and balance first.


The FHRC as we all know has come under criticism from the anti-G forces, with allegations being made against the Chairperson that she is too soft on the IG and not taking a hardline against them.


Under Dr Shaista Shameem, the FHRC has published papers which some claim seeks to legitimise or justify the events of December 2006.


Now it seems, that there has been a bit of a falling out and the FHRC finds itself wit much reduced powers. And, the positions of those involved with the FHRC is starting to change.


Well, well, well.


But our job is to give voice to the voiceless and encourage balance and fairness in the reporting. So we will  cede to your request and publish your statement.


But, this is not to be seen as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
Media Release


Curtailment of FHRC powers is unfortunate


The Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF) describes the curtailment of the status and powers of the Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC) by a Presidential decree as unfortunate, however, CCF reminds that the international human rights mechanisms can still be utilised under the various human rights declarations and conventions.


CCF calls on the Caretaker Government to restore the 1997 Constitution and the judiciary, so that those arrested or detained under the State of Emergency regulations have a chance of fair treatment from the law.


"The decree prevents the FHRC from receiving complaints against, investigating, questioning or challenging the legality or validity of any Decrees made by the President. It is interfering with the independence of the FHRC," Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said.


"The FHRC will now be unable to perform the key role of acting as a watchdog of the government as it is no longer allowed to make recommendations on the implications of any proposed law or policy that may affect human rights," Rev Yabaki said.


"However, Fiji's government is still accountable to the international human rights bodies and has obligations to protect and respect core human rights and provide progress reports to the international community represented by the various treaty bodies," Rev Yabaki said. "Fiji, as a member of the international community and a recipient of aid money, has obligations to uphold core human rights."


"Concerned citizens can still utilise the international mechanisms available – such as the reporting and complaints procedures available through the Optional Protocols and the UN Committees for human rights conventions and declarations," Rev Yabaki said.


For further information, please contact CCF Executive Officer Rev Akuila Yabaki on ph: 3308379, fax: 3308380.






Rev Akuila Yabaki

Chief Executive Officer

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the Interest of Free Speech

In the interest of free speech, Loyal Fijian is publishing this Media Release that was sent to us. Our commitment today as always is to a free and fair media.

Media Release

Arbitrary detentions and media censorship is alarming


The Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF) is concerned at the arrest and detention of people by the police and military, and at the inability of Fiji's public to be informed about these, due to heavy media censorship.


"The current caretaker government has extended the imposition of the State of Emergency regulations for another 30 days. The continuing arbitrary arrests and detention of civilians by the police and military for questioning is a worrying trend. We fear that this may become worse," CCF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said.


The first arrests took place after the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution on April 10 2009, when President of Fiji Law Society Mr Dorsami Naidu and a Fiji TV journalist Mr Edwin Nand were arrested and detained. In the weeks to follow, a politician Iliesa Duvuloco was detained. Two journalists were arrested on May 9 and released after two days. Rumour has it that currently, a Methodist preacher has been arrested and detained.


"The censorship of media means that it is difficult to verify how many more people are or may have been arrested and detained. These detentions are breaching basic human rights. These detentions will create a bad international reputation for Fiji and will have a negative impact on efforts to move the country forward," Rev Yabaki said.



For further information, please contact CCF Executive Director Rev Akuila Yabaki on ph: 3308379, fax: 3308380.






Rev Akuila Yabaki

Chief Executive Officer

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fly on the Wall : Yagoona Meeting

Cont from last post..
Sorry for the break. The haet has definitely been on, had to keep my head down. Somebody has told Kissinger that somebody is leaking news from this fine Ministry to the "F%$@# internet"" . Its a blog, Its a blog, Its a bolg. But anayway, I have a story to tell and here it is....
Taliban is having a say too. This bloke thinks he is the authority on all matters related to this fine Ministry. And he has his sight set firmly on the No. 2 job.


Yes, he thinks he is in with a chance.


Kissinger looks worried. Well he's always got a frown on his forehead, but this time he's really worried. Because as soon as he sat down he said" This time Im really worried". That's how I know.


You see , the "We Love Fiji So Much We Live Overseas Front" held their meeting in some place called Yagoona. As soon as Kissinger says Yagoona he raises his eyebrows and tilt his head towards the ledge next to the windows at the back of the room.


This is my clue to mix the grog . I hope they don't talk about this bloody place called Yagoona too often because I think it reminds Kissinger of Yagona. And you know what that means. Me mixing the grog, but my ears are tuned right into what Kissinger, Brutus and the rest of this motley crue are discussing.


The word came from "The Place that Must Only be Spoken of in Whispers" that the  Col Sa-Dro-Ga addressed a gathering of 40 and spoke of the need to return our country to democracy.


Brutus coughs, not the cough that comes with the flu that is going through at the moment but a nervous cough. Ive always had my doubts about Brutus, is he playing both sides?


Anyway, Kissinger says that those from "The Place that Must Only be Spoken of in Whispers" want answers.


Answers! Boy are we in trouble. Because you see those of us here at the Minstry of Floundering Affairs are after one thing and one thing only and answers to political dilemmas isn't it.


Overseas Postings.


We have to send a report to the The Place that Must Only be Spoken of in Whispers" on how may people were there and anyone of note . "They Who Cant be Discussed in Loud Voices" want to know if our people in Kangaroo Land were in attendance and sent a report.


Oh boy,are we in trouble I thought to myself.


Do "They Who Cant be Discussed in Loud Voices" really think that our best and brightest in Kangaroo Land don't have anything better to do that keeping watch on the "We Love Fiji So Much We Live Overseas Front".


Ha! And that too on the weekend. Double Ha! They'll be drunk as a Tailevu Rugby player after a win over Nadroga in the Fairbrother challenge.


Mata Hari shoots a look at Brutus and quickly breaks eye contact and looks straight over at me. She's got that look on her face which says "Does he know?" He hehe. If only she knew. I quickly start spinning the grog, first bowl to Kissinger who downs the sa- soko grog in one gulp.


"Wai dala!" He says. Put some more Kava in there. I do as Im told.
To be cont...

Friday, May 8, 2009

News or Propaganda ?

At the risk of being accused of justifying media restrictions, it is important in the interest of balance to take a closer look at the allegations levelled against the IG for banning certain foreign journalists from either reporting in Fiji or entering our beautiful nation.
It is vital in the intrest of a free media, to report both sides of the story and allow the readers to make up their own minds. It is not for the reporters to convince people to form their opinions for or against a subject matter. Our job is to provide credible and balanced reports and let the people decide.
So lets take a closer look .


Every country on this planet has at some stage disallowed entry to someone.


Take New Zealand for example, the Kiwis banned George Nacewa , the son of a civil servant. Can you believe that ? This young student did nothing wrong , and he was banned from re-entering NZ and had to miss his exams.


The Kiwis even banned the goalkeeper of the Fiji soccer team because his father is a member of the disciplined forces. What wrong had these guys done?


The Australians banned Snoop Doggy Dog from entering because he would be a negative influence on the youth of that country.


The beacon of human right, the mighty Americans, have a list that must run for miles on persons not allowed to enter their country. On grounds of national security. The conduct of these persons or their associations with other persons poses a threat to the national security of the United States. A lot of it on suspicion only.


A friend tells the story of how his/her cousin was detained at an American airport. After being grilled for a number of hours, it emerged that he/she had borrowed some books on WW2 history with some detailed descriptions on 1950's weaponry from a library in the U.S that was on a F.B.I watch list. Don't believe it? Suit yourself.


We all know somebody who has been denied a visa to enter Australia, NZ, USA or some other country. Same thing.


And so, we have a certain so-called journalist who thinks he has a god given right to jet in and out as and when he wishes.


We are a small country sir, but we are a sovereign nation. The citizens of this country expect our authorities to maintain law and order.

If a journalist does their job to report fairly and with balance, that's a different story. But what about someone who is publishing a blog filled with rumour , speculation and innuendo aimed at humiliating senior public figures and even inciting unrest and mutiny.


There is a story being peddled by this NZ based self-proclaimed journalist that the Commander of the FMF had an attachment with the Chilean navy ages ago and then goes on to very mischievously suggest that this somehow has a bearing on what's happening in Fiji now.


I-War 101. The Big Lie Theory! Dont let the truth get in the way of a good story.


But just hold up a second!


NZ Forces and Australian forces have trained the Kopassus in Indonesia who went on a rampage in East Timor, they have trained Afghani units who aren't exactly known for their "softly-softly" approach. And lets not even go into the "keeni-meeni" missions! We don't see the heads of the Australian or NZ Defence Forces being subjected to such slander and character assassination.


There has been a long standing tradition for FMF officers to train in NZDF Command and Staff College in Wellington and at Duntroon in Australia. Does this mean that NZ and Australia are responsible for the coups we've had? Why single out the Chilean attachment?


Whats next? Accuse an FMF officer who has been through the American officer training facility in Hawaii (a highly rewarding experience, we are told) of being complicit in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo?


What hypocrisy and rumour mongering!


That's where this bloke crosses the line. Using bits and pieces of hearsay to try and conjure up an image in order to achieve a political objective.


That's not journalism, that's propaganda.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why arent we suprised?

South Pacific Forum meeting turned out as expected.


Leading in to the meeting, there was all sorts of rumour and speculation flying around regarding Fiji 's membership of that august body.


As part of the pressure being applied on the IG, foreign leaders were suggesting that Fiji could be suspended. But before you go running off thinking the world will come to an end if we are suspended, think again.


The rhetoric is not random but quite well orchestrated. NZ Foreign Minister one day, Australian Foreign Minister the next and most lately Sir Michael Somare.


Mr Michael Somare added his voice in the lead up to the Forum suggesting that Fiji could be suspended and despite being a staunch believer in Melanesian unity, he too was coming around to the view held by our big brothers, Australia and NZ.


Mr Somare's voice is important in this Psychological Warfare being waged very cleverly by our powerful neighbours. Mr Somare is Melanesian, Mr. Kevin Rudd and Mr. Key are not.


But when Mr Somare got up on the soap box to preach democracy, he forgot to mention one thing.


He forgot to mention that he was standing in Canberra.


He forgot to mention that he was in Canberra to ask for more Australian aid.


He forgot to mention that Australian aid keeps PNG afloat.


He forgot to mention that if he doesn't toe the Australian line, he and his country will struggle big time.


And just to highlight the point Mr Rudd was quick to point out that the aid money that his Government was giving Mr Somare's Government was misspent. Mr Rudd also pointed out that sovereign nations like PNG have every right to run their own affairs and Australia does not believe in meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.


Least of all deciding what PNG's foreign policy should be towards their Melanesian neighbour. Of course not.


Sovereignty means that every country has a right to run their own affairs including PNG, without any interference or influence from countries which may contribute a large share of their GDP in the form of aid.


Because aid is not given in the hope of buying influence over the policies of the donor nations. Never.


Japan just feels like giving money to Kiribati and Tokelau and Marshall Islands, the fact they vote in favour of lifting the ban on whaling is because those pesky whales are eating up all the fish and someone needs to go in there and teach them a lesson. Even if that means they end up as sushi .


China gives aid to Solomons , Vanuatu and Fiji because they are making a lot of money these days. The fact these countries no longer give diplomatic recognition to Taiwan is because we are sick of the cheap Taiwan made TV's which always break down during the HK Sevens and nothing to do with Chinese conditions on aid.


Australia gives aid to PNG because they are grateful for what the Fuzzy Wuzzies did for the  Australian soldiers during WW2. The fact that 80% of PNG's forests and minerals have been sold to Australian interests is just a happy coincidence.


And right on cue, as Mr Rudd said the words "Aid" followed by "Misspent", Mr Somare said that Fiji must return to democracy and should be suspended to encourage it to do so. Even Mr Rudd couldnt have said it any better.


Democracy at work! Plato will be turning in his grave!