Monday, April 13, 2009

The Truth Shall Set You Free: Fiji Strikes Down Freedom of The Press, Freedom of Speech

Another bunch of bananas from Bainimarama's illegal regime...

Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch, nay, you may kick it all about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Professor at the Breakfast Table
US Supreme Court Justice

Over the weekend, the illegal Fijian military dictatorship imposed emergency rules submitting the Fijian press to censorship and limiting rights to public assembly.

Several days earlier the Fijian Court of Appeal ruled that the 2006 military coup led by Frank Bainimarama was illegal & in violation of the nation's constitution. Presumably, this makes Bainimarama's coup a seditious act but we haven't checked the Fijian constitution or the court's opinion for the fine detail on that matter. If you can still find the ruling, that is.

Reward for the Court's decision upholding the Rule of Law was the dismissal of the nation's entire judicial branch until the military's puppets could be installed.

Following the loss of the freedom of the press, Fiji TV pulled its 6 pm show on Sunday while the Fiji Times' Sunday edition had a blank second page and stories & a cartoon missing on page 3.

Information secretary, a.k.a. Head of MiniTrue, Major Neumi Leweni asked Fiji Times staff to explain the empty spaces and the phrase referring to state restrictions. The illegal administration is demanding that the Fijian news media publish happy news or "pro-Fiji" news in the Newspeak of puppet Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. No word yet whether Fiji TV will be required to broadcast programming incorporating Aldous Huxley's the "feelies".

New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully believes Fiji will now inevitably be suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum while Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Fiji is now "virtually a military dictatorship". Mr Rudd's use of the word "virtually" seems redundant.

Former New Zealand Governor General Sir Paul Reeves warns Fiji will pay a heavy price for ignoring the rule of law. Sir Paul, who currently serves as the special representative of the Commonwealth Secretary General to Fiji, says the military regime is on a slippery slope downwards with Fiji's status within the Commonwealth and the Pacific Island Forum likely to be downgraded.

Fiji joins other military dictatorships like Myanmar in driving a nation's economy back a century or two. If rickshaws reappear on the streets of Suva, will the dictatorship claim it's their contribution to combatting global climate change?

Kuaka (godwits) will continue to treat Fiji as fly-over country in their next southern trans-Pacific migration as they have historically. Maybe in a free Fiji, they may be coaxed in to alighting for a morsel or two above high tide mark.

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