Welcome to “Fiji on the Potomac”…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It was already Easter Sunday in Australia when I turned on my Grundig shortwave radio and tuned in to Radio Australia.  I always find the news interesting from Australia because the regional news often talks about events in Southeast Asia– places like Vietnam, Thailand and  little-talked about places in the media here like Fiji.

Well, the report that caught my attention that morning was about Fiji’s woes.

Fiji has had 4 coups in the last 20 years…and hopes of bringing democracy to the country are fading.

Fiji’s constitution has been scrapped and the screws are being put to the media. From Radio Australia:

FEATURE: Fiji’s political crisis

Fiji has been plunged into political chaos after the country’s Court of Appeal ruled that the interim government of Commodore Frank Bainimarama was illegal.

Last Updated: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 14:03:00 +1000

Campbell Cooney and Sean Dorney


The scrapping of Fiji’s constitution also appears to mean the scrapping of any notion of a free and open media in Fiji.

“Emergency regulations are in force,” Commodore Bainimarama said on Saturday.

“However, these regulations are only an emergency measure. I am sure we will all, including the media, collaborate with the relevant agencies.”

But Fiji’s media hasn’t really been given a choice about co-operation.

On Friday officers from Ministry of Information and the Police Media Unit were placed in the country’s newspaper, radio and TV newsrooms.

In response, sections of Fiji’s media have launched a self-imposed news blackout in response to new censorship regulations.

Fijian media are boycotting political stories, with newspapers on Monday strikingly bland in their design and reports.

The Fiji Times on Sunday ran blank spaces where censored stories critical of Friday’s abolition of the constitution and the re-appointment of Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s government would have run.

For Monday, it ran no stories at all relating to the extraordinary events of the past four days.

The Fiji Sun says it will not print any political stories under the current censorship provisions, imposed on Friday.

The main television station in Fiji, Fiji One, refused to run a news bulletin on Sunday because the management objected to the censorship being imposed by the head of information, Major Neumi Leweni.

Major Leweni has been given exceptional powers as the chief censor – he can recommend the closure of any newspaper, television or radio station that does not obey his directions.

Now apart from the fact that here in the U.S. the media was bought and sold for Obama during the election season and is still pushing his charms at us constantly,  we’ve also had rumblings about the government “helping” newspapers in trouble.  We know from the banking debacle that banks who take money from the government are either in cahoots with the people responsible for this financial mess or, it they were outside the cabal and forced to take money, they’re having a hard time extricating themselves from the Obama Administration’s grip.

Right now our own Constitution is being disregarded when convenient.  We have a compliant/complicit media along with a dying print media that may be willing to be “helped.”

So, while “officers from the Ministry of Information” aren’t quite in television studios or newsrooms here yet because so far very few feathers are being ruffled,  don’t you wonder if things will change if and when some of the mass media that adore Obama and helped create him begin to get a bit uppity? Obama and his crowd are so very good at applying pressure and intimidation…

In Fiji, the press is fighting back as best they can by ignoring any political stories or running blank spaces.

Wouldn’t that be something?  Dead air on all the talking heads’  TV shows?  A refusal by newspapers and magazines to run Obama’s propaganda?

One can dream..

Oh, but now there’s a new development…The courts are being “recreated” and there’s much talk of reform.

Fiji courts to be reinstated, says attorney-general


In a wide-ranging interview with the ABC’s Michael Vincent, Mr Sayed Khaiyum [Fuji’s Attorney General] also: defends the actions of the Fijian interim regime as part of a long-term vision; speaks about the need for fundamental reform in the nation; and says communications blackouts are not as serious as had been claimed.


The Attorney-General defended the actions of the interim regime. Asked about negative international reaction, he said: “With any changes, any reforms, people who are perhaps not in the country itself may take a different view.

“People need to look at our history, need to look at the objectives, the vision of the government including (that of) the President, and make their judgement calls then.”

Vision outlined

He said the national vision had been outlined in recent speeches by the President and the Prime Minister.

“Fundamentally, we need a number of reforms in Fiji, in particular things like electoral reform, before we can have true democratic and parliamentary elections.”

Present features of the electoral system were that “a huge gerrymandering (electoral boundary changes) takes place within it; you don’t have equal value of votes; you don’t have equal suffrage, and plus it’s based on ethnicity . .

“You don’t have basic notions of citizenry.”


Well, that’s the way to get true “reform”–have a few coups.  And the Police Media Unit and a military man running the “information office”–nice touches, yes?  But not to worry about those “communications blackouts”–who knows whether Radio Australia shut down its transmitters in Fiji–the AG doesn’t have any “personal knowledge” about it.  Anyway, it’s all OK because Commodore Bainimarama was once a U.N. Peacekeeper, doncha know.

We’re in the middle of our own stealth coup now and many of us saw it coming during the primaries as the Democratic Party acted anything but.  And, the “ethnicity card”…well, we had/have that, too.

The BBC report on the problems in Fiji includes the following observation by Professor Helen Ware in Australia:

“The country’s about to fall off a cliff…”

And other observers see the promises being made as “vague and worryingly-open ended.”

Sounds so familiar over here in “Fiji on the Potomac”…

7 Responses

  1. “Fiji On The Potomac” is what happens when citizens don’t insist that their representatives actually represent them. As for our corrupt media, they will not help us since they are helping the government takeover. As our Obamacrats, our own little 5th Columnists.

  2. If the administration bails out the Print Media, we’ll know that anything we see in print will be a fabrication. The reason they need a bail-out is because people got tired of the one-sided reporting of the so-called news and cancelled their subscriptions.

    Our main consolation at this point is the huge turnout that took place on the 15th. to protest the previous bail-outs and the expected rise in taxes. With so many people waking up, if we keep this momentum going there is still hope that we can VOTE THEM ALL OUT.

    Making a career out of feasting at the public trough has led congress to believe that they are all powerful and that the voters don’t count. It’s about time we showed them they are wrong. We need to ;make a clean sweep in 2010 and beyond.

    • Everything we see in print now is a fabrication. Who’ll know the difference?

      What we really need is a White Knight that wants to purchase a TV network or major newspaper and turn it into and actual objective media source. It could be quite a profitable venture – think how many viewers they would have instantly!

    • Who do you do the clean sweep with?? Two parties, all following the same line, with minor variations.

      Third parties go nowhere, or else hand it all to one of the others.

  3. For two days now I’ve been having computer problems.
    It is moving so slowly that it takes me forever just to get to the site.

    My son agrees that firefox is fine, so I think I’ll be trying that. I’m so set in my ways that I don’t like to try anything new, but this is ridiculous.

    This is a practically new computer, so this shouldn’t be happening. Comcast was down county-wide for most of the day one day last week, so I’m inclined to think it is Comcast and not my computer.

    Hope I’ll see you all later.

    • You’ll love Firefox. Also, do a system scan for viruses/malware!!

      What security software are you using?

      For addtional protection, search SPYBOT…I use that in addition to McCaffee and Windows Defender

      • Firefox will give you a big improvement as a browser, but GRL is right about the security scans. I don’t have much positive to say about Windows Defender, though. It’s a total waste of resources as far as I’m concerned. If Microsoft knew anything about stopping Malware, we wouldn’t need to do scans!

        Spybot is ok, but it only goes so far. I seem to remember you mentioning Norton Internet Security once Lee. If you keep that updated and run scans weekly you should be in reasonable shape between the Norton and the Spybot.

        If the problem does turn out to be Comcast, call and ask for a credit for the time you’ve been down. If enough people do that, they’ll start fixing the issues more quickly.

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