Graham Davis

Some perspective on the Fiji bashings, some dodgy ratbags got their beans

News was released this week about some appalling bashings that?occurred?then some escaped prisoners were re-captured. The video evidence shows some pretty rough justice, and from our Westernised point of view looks pretty bad.

I didn’t blog anything about it at the time because I wanted to talk to my contacts in Fiji, both in business and the general community about the background to the escape…and the background of the people in the video.

Justice in Fiji is a wee bit rougher than what we would expect. But this was over the top, but when you put in some perspective about the Naboro prison escape in September 2012 you can understand the anger and?retribution. That by no means ?justifies it, but it simply provides perspective.

The Fiji Sun at the time wrote about the escape and the crime wave throughout Suva that resulted:

Five violent criminals who escaped from Naboro prison on Monday were yesterday being hunted in a massive joint operation by Police and Corrections officers.

Police were trying to establish if the escapees were involved in a spate of robberies in Suva after their escape, Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said.? Read more »

Getting some facts straight on Fiji

I have written an opinion piece for Truth about Fiji, after David Farrar linked and repeated a couple of stories in the major media by Michael Field.

David Farrar recently wrote a post on his Kiwiblog?and linked?to a story by Michael Field about the alleged burning of the new constitution by Fiji Police, then he linked to another story, again by Michael Field about a troublesome priest being asked to leave Fiji.

Michael Field is banned from traveling to Fiji. It is likely that he sourced both of his stories from the anti-government blog Coup 4.5, who are almost all exclusively Auckland based.? Read more »

The Bainimarama Interview

An interview by Graham Davis screened on Prime and Sky News last night.

Graham Davis is a top class interviewer. Frank Bainimarama stresses the point that NZ is more understanding than Oz.

Grubsheet?s interview with the Fijian leader, Frank Bainimarama, is being shown this weekend in Australia and New Zealand on Sky News and in Fiji in a news special on FBCTV at 7.30pm on Sunday night. In it, Bainimarama says Australia is now alone among its ANZUS partners in refusing to engage with Fiji. And he reveals fresh details of his plans to return the country to democracy in 2014.

In an exclusive interview with Graham Davis for Sky News, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has lashed out at the governments of Australia and New Zealand, accusing them of neglecting the Pacific Islands.

Commodore Bainimarama accused former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd of neglecting the Pacific, adding Canberra’s lack of attention to the region – and especially its policy of shunning Fiji – had weakened Australian influence in the region and had created a vacuum that bigger powers were moving to fill.

He added improved relations between Australia and Fiji would only come if Tony Abbott won the next election.

The NZ Government and Murray McCully need to drop the stupid sanctions so that business people in Fiji can openly engage and help Fijian Government.

Quote of the Day

From a speech by journalist Graham Davis on jornalism and Fiji:

Judgment and integrity are the qualities that make journalists respect the facts, the confidences of those who give them information, strive to be balanced and fair, give their stories context and polish and re-polish them ? however tight their deadlines – to get them as close as possible to an adequate facsimile of the truth.

And I say facsimile because journalism is the most imprecise of arts, not least because one person?s truth can be another person?s falsehood.

You can, however, strive to have integrity and judgment.

So let?s just talk about this in the Fiji context, as seen by someone like myself?born here and a former citizen, having reported local events but who?s spent a lifetime in the foreign media, on the outside looking in.

And what a picture Fiji presents right now ? an entire country hostage to the premise of one person?s truth being another person?s falsehood.

So much of what is said about Fiji in the international media is woefully short of integrity or judgment.

Indeed, we live in a truly parallel universe when it comes to media coverage ?.alleged versions of the truth so polarised that your ordinary reader, viewer or listener can be excused for having no idea what to believe.

Never mind your average person with only a passing interest in the country. Even so-called experts have trouble working out who?s right and who?s wrong, such is the deluge of misinformation on Fiji masquerading as fact.


Fiji – Interviews with Bainimarama

Frank Bainimarama tells Australia and New Zealand to stick it

photo - The Australian

While Murray McCully is dreaming about 2014 in Afghanistan he has another debacle on his hands with Fiji. I have posted extensively on developments that have seen China take a forward role in Fiji at the expense of Australia and New Zealand and it is our attitudes towards Fiji that are to blame. Given that we won’t change our ways it seems we have a foreign policy of enabling China’s hegemony to extend in the Pacific.

Fiji’s interim government has accused New Zealand of snubbing it by not attending the Engaging Fiji meeting in Nadi.

The five-member Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) group cancelled its summit in Fiji this month amid lobbying for it to be postponed, and concerns about democracy and governance.

Suva responded by expelling Australia’s acting high commissioner and announcing that its own meeting of Pacific leaders, to be called Engaging Fiji, would go ahead next week regardless.

Fiji’s self-appointed Prime Minister Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama accused New Zealand and Australia of causing problems with the MSG.

There are good people working in Frank Bainimarama?s government ? good Australians! Chief censor and media strategist Australian Sharon Smith-Johns sounds like the right person for the job! So is the other Australian Peter Thomson who is UN representative in New York.

(And the Solicitor-General Christopher Pryde is a Kiwi so not all those who in the Fijian Government are in the Military).

Sir Paul Reeves told Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB a few weeks ago that he would like to return to Fiji ?if invited. Sir Paul could have gone over to today?s Engaging with Fiji special meeting in Fiji ? the replacement for the Melanesian Spearhead meeting that Vanuatu Prime Minister aborted at the last minute. ?Twist in the tale ? the Vanuatu Foreign Minister is now attending the replacement meeting and NZ and Oz should have been there too.

This is a missed opportunity. The NZ Government should not have snubbed today?s Fiji meeting.

Even better are a series of interviews with Commodore Bainimarama by Graham Davis that go with the Fiji stories published in The Australian today.

The Dictator on Pacific Relations one is good ? Frank has a sense of humour about the Samoan Prime Minister. He says Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has done no reforms in his country ? just changed the driving side of the road!

People, particularly those who never venture past the beltway do not get Fiji. These videos should give readers a far better understanding than the dribbles from our own media. Make no mistake, our continued non-engagement with Fiji will ensure than the Melanesian nations, at least will move further away from New Zealand and Australia, and into the arms of China and the non-aligned movement. The Pacific is changing and all we do is stand by and watch. From my perspective Fiji looks more and more attractive as a place to live. At least their government takes the hard decisions.

Interview with the dictator

Frank Bainimarama

FIJIAN dictator Frank Bainimarama explains in an exclusive interview with The Australian why Australia's Acting High Commissioner Sarah Roberts was expelled.

The dictator on strained ties

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Frank Bainimarama talks about Fiji's strained relations with Australia.

The dictator on Pacific relations

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Frank Bainimarama talks about Fiji and the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The dictator on democracy

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Frank Bainimarama talks about his plans to restore Fiji to democracy.

The dictator on the media decree

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Fijian dictator Frank Bainimarama explains why he believes the media decree is necessary.

The dicatator on the economy

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Frank Bainimarama discusses the Fijian economy.