Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Free Speech in Fiji

It was prime drive time in Kuwait, and I almost laughed so hard that I might have been a danger on the road. A brief news article on BBC News featured the national leader in Fiji saying “free speech is nothing but trouble.” The news reporter was saying that the only real news in Fiji right now is from the bloggers. Here is a fragment of an article on BBC April 15th:

Free speech ‘trouble’

In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Mr Bainimarama said he was determined to carry out what he described as reforms.

He defended the introduction of emergency regulations that include an edict that the local Fijian media publishes only positive news, saying Fiji does not need free and open public discussion about current issues.

“That was how we ended up with what we came up with in the last couple of days,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“The circumstances have changed. We [the government] now decide what needs to be done for our country, for the reforms that need to be put in place for us to have a better Fiji,” he said.

Fiji’s Court of Appeal ruled last Thursday that the Bainimarama regime, in power since staging a 2006 coup, was illegal under the country’s 1997 constitution.

In response, the country’s ailing President Josefa Iloilo sacked the judges, dissolved the constitution and reappointed Mr Bainimarama, who then said there would be no democratic elections until 2014.

April 28, 2009 - Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, Experiment, Free Speech, Interconnected, Leadership, Living Conditions, Social Issues

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