As a point of interest our team did a random snapshot sneak-preview of what other International news agency are saying re recent announcement by the Commonwealth. We must note in particular New Zealand's position as of todate 2/9/09 per McCully's comments where he states, quote, "...so there be a period of patience..." unquote.
- Why is it that the ceremonial aspect of being in Fiji, [Bainimarama, his regime & visiting dignatories] are still being treated to a lavish Traditional Fijian Ceremony? Why are they lapping up this good old age Fijian Tradition, if they are trying to do away with what matters to the ordinary Fijian? Why can't they have an Indian ceremony or a Chinese one or even a Western way? Such a state of hipocracy at its highest indeed.
BBC News: "Fiji has had a chequered relationship with the Commonwealth. It was expelled in 1987 after two military coups, but was readmitted 10 years later when democracy was restored. It was also suspended in 2000 for 18 months. "
FIJI'S COMMONWEALTH HISTORY
1987 - Fiji endures two military coups, declares a republic; the Commonwealth expels Fiji
1997 - Fiji readmitted to the Commonwealth after it introduces a non-discriminatory constitution
May 2000- Parliament stormed, PM Mahendra Chaudhry and cabinet taken hostage. Businessman George Speight proclaims himself acting PM
June 2000 - Commonwealth suspends Fiji
Dec 2001 - Fiji readmitted to the Commonwealth
- 2005 July - Military chief warns that he will remove government if proposed amnesty for those involved in 2000 coup goes ahead.
- 2006 March - Great Council of Chiefs elects incumbent President Iloilo to a second, five-year term.
2006 May - Former PM Sitiveni Rabuka is charged with orchestrating a failed army mutiny in November 2000.
- Ruling party leader and incumbent PM Laesenia Qarase narrowly wins elections and is sworn in for a second term.
- Military coup
2006 October - November - Tensions rise between PM Laesenia Qarase and military chief Frank Bainimarama, who threatens to oust the government after it tries, and fails, to replace him. Qarase goes into hiding as the crisis escalates.
2006 December - Frank Bainimarama says in a televised address he has taken executive powers and dismissed PM Laisenia Qarase. Commonwealth suspends Fiji because of the coup
- 2009 - [September 2] Fiji is now suspended from Commonwealth.
WHAT CJA SAYS:
COMMONWEALTH JOURNALIST ASSOCIATIONS
Fiji’s Bainimarama secures pariah status as worst dictator in the Commonwealth
Free speech and free press paralyzed.
Media organizations through the Commonwealth have compared notes to conclude that Commodore Frank Bainimarama's prime achievement as dictator of Fiji is to have attained the worst media reputation in the Commonwealth.
With that comes the paralysis of basic human rights - free speech and free press - and the pursuit of policies so retrograde as to drag down his beautiful country socially and economically at huge price to its wonderful people.
Bainimarama has expelled foreign media (but invited some back for supervised coverage). He has closed media institutions, monitored those left standing and bullied and intimidated those who have resisted - including the judiciary, which he sacked. The constitution has been tossed out at his direction to make way for one of his choosing.NEW ZEALAND HERALD
McCully: We can't force Fiji to hold elections
9:40AM Wednesday Sep 02, 2009
Military Commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama holding a press conference at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks. Photo / Getty Images, Phil Walter
"New Zealand can do nothing to force Fiji to restore democracy so there now be a 'period of patience" Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Murray McCullysays...."
The rule of law, democracy and human rights were "the glue that holds the Commonwealth together".
New Zealand would not be imposing new sanctions, he said.
"We've simply taken the view that the rest of the international community have fallen broadly into line, we don't see any reason for new initiatives to take place at this stage," Mr McCully told Radio New Zealand.
"There's really nothing we can do to force Fiji to move down a path towards democracy."
Economic pressures would contribute eventually, he said.
The government would be no better than the military regime if it banned New Zealanders from taking advantage of cheap holiday deals to Fiji, he said.
WHAT THE AUSTRALIANS SAYS:
Journos call for Fiji tourism boycott
By Radio Australia's Bruce Hill
The International Federation of Journalists wants travellers to rethink any plans to holiday in Fiji.
Fiji is facing suspension from the Commonwealth at midnight Tuesday (local time) for its slow progress towards a return to democracy.
Interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who led the December 2006 coup in Fiji, has refused to bow to Commonwealth and regional pressure to hold elections sooner than 2014.
The editor of the Fiji Times newspaper, Netani Rika, told a recent journalism conference in Brisbane that Australians appear to have no idea how lucky they are to have a voice through free media.
The International Federation of Journalists Sydney-based spokeswoman, Deborah Muir, has told Radio Australia anyone thinking of holidaying in Fiji should reconsider.
"What Netani Rika says is it's unnerving to know that tourists from Australia and elsewhere, other free countries, would still be going to their resort holidays seemingly oblivious to the fact that Fiji is being administered by a dictatorship," she said.
"Fiji is no paradise right now. Any advertising campaign that says it is a paradise is false advertising.
"The International Federation of Journalists would strongly urge people who are considering holidays in Fiji to think twice about it and to use the rights that they have in the free countries in which they live to inform themselves what is happening elsewhere in the world."
But Frank Yourn, executive director of the Australia-Fiji Business Council, says it is the innocent that will suffer, not the interim government.
"I think it's important that people who are considering this understand the impact that a decision like that would have on the ordinary people of Fiji, the people who are employed in the tourism industry and the various industries that surround the tourism industry," Mr Yourn said.
"It's not a matter of propping up the dictatorship; it's really a matter of trying to ensure the economic survival of people who are really suffering quite badly."
LOS ANGELEES TIMES....."Simply not interested unless its FIJI WATER CRISES' by Mother Jones.http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/afghanistan/la-fg-afghan-troops2-2009sep02,0,6170770.story