May 3, 2008

Another Day of Shame in Fiji for Fiji

As we drag ourselves into yet another day of shame in Fiji under the despotic madness of a Military Regime that is spectacular in its display of ignoramus, cowardice and petty retaliatory behaviour in it's treatment of Mr Hannah ; let us be reminded again about the true meaning of real power and real leadership .

Wise Philosopher Eckhart Tolle tells us that :

" Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.

Having power over others is not leadership but rather tyranny.

Real Leaders are not that concerned with flexing their power muscles. They simply do not have time for such egotistical displays.

No, leadership rests in having authority that derives from the consent of the governed.

Power and authority do not always go together.

Be aware of the fact that when you operate from solely a power base, you are living in a dream world.

In such a circumstance you have sacrificed all hope of establishing a long-term positive legacy.

No, if you use power sparingly and with justice and concern yourself with service & growth—then authority will flow to you."

This is very meaningful advice. However unfortunately, we have all witnessed first hand over the last sorry 16 months the sewer rat methods and gutter type thinking the Military Regime decision makers operate with as their guidelines.

Rather primitive actually.

And yet again, MASSIVE international attention is upon our poor little nation for all the wrong reasons.

Helen Clark (NZ Prime Minister) said :
"The manner of the deportation also suggests disregard for the rule of law.

An injunction was secured last night by Mr Hannah's lawyers to prevent his deportation. The injunction order was served on the relevant interim government authorities.

"Nonetheless they proceeded to enforce Mr Hannah's departure on a Korean Air flight to Seoul earlier today...

"The expulsion will be viewed with significant regional and international concern, and does not bode well for promised elections scheduled for next year."
THE Australian Government said :
"It has condemned the manner in which The Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah was taken from his home last night for likely deportation.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith issued a statement saying he was very disturbed by reports of Mr Hannah's removal, detention and possible deportation to Australia.

"Unless the interim Fiji Government can provide some satisfactory explanation it can only be seen as another blatant attack by the illegal Fiji Interim Government on the media in an attempt to muzzle freedom of speech.

Mr Smith said this was yet another reprehensible act in a disturbing pattern of behaviour since the coup of December 2006 which has resulted in the severe erosion of fundamental human rights and the rule of law in Fiji.

He said it was extraordinary and very disappointing that the Fiji regime had acted in this way on the eve of Media Freedom Day. "I call on the Fiji Interim Government to respect the civil liberties of all citizens and residents and hold elections by the first quarter of 2009 consistent with the constitution and laws of Fiji, and as per its commitment to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2 October 2007."
Fiji's Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes says :
"Fiji's Military Regime does not keep its word and it's term can be likened to a litany of broken promises. The interim regime make promises they dont keep, they demand transparency but cant practise it, and they talk of freedoms then go ahead and deny it.

Mr Beddoes was reacting to the interim regimes latest escapade involving the Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah, who was deported this morning.

He said one could almost pass of the first deportation of Fiji Sun publisher Russel Hunter as a misunderstanding.

But when the Publisher of our longest serving and largest newspaper becomes the second victim of deportation, it no longer is a misunderstanding," Mr Beddoes said.

It is a deliberate move to control media freedom in Fiji, and to pick Media Freedom Week in which to do it, demonstrates a high degree of distain for the International community."
THE Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions says :

"The deportation of Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah marks another day of international shame for Fiji.

In a statement, Mr Singh said the fact that a court stay order on the deportation was disregarded by the interim government shows that they would defy all to achieve their ends. He said it is clear the interim regime does not respect the rule of law and does not have any respect for media freedom.
Reporters Without Borders ( the international press freedom group ) said :
"It condemns Fiji for deporting the publisher of the country’s leading daily newspaper. The Paris-based group said the expulsion of Evan Hannah of the Fiji Times was unacceptable and that Mr Hannah’s arrest had violated all the undertakings which it said the military government had given as regards respect for civil liberties and press freedom.

The summary removal of government critics was becoming the norm in Fiji. Reporters Without Borders said the Fiji government must stop what it called its schizophrenic behaviour.”
THE Fiji Womens Rights Movement says :

"It is appalled by the second deportation of a respected journalist from Fiji a day before international Media Freedom Day.

Movement executive director, Virisila Buadromo says " This is unbelievable repeated intimidation of the free press, which is the pillar of a free society.

The FWRM is disappointed that Fijis interim regime continues to blatantly violate human rights and the rule of law. This is despite the interim Prime Minister speaking on the occasion of Media Freedom Day, saying media freedom is secure and constitutionally guaranteed. It doesnt appear very secure to Fijis journalists."

The freedom of the media is enshrined in Fijis Constitution Section 30 (1) (b), which guarantees the freedom of the press and other media.

Mr Hannahs lawyers had obtained a court order last night, requiring authorities to present Hannah in a Suva court at 3pm today.

However, the order was ignored when Mr Hannah was put on a Korean Airline flight to Seoul at 9.30am.

We call on the interim regime to honour our rights under the 1997 Constitution and international human rights law, and allow our media to operate freely, without threat and intimidation," Ms Buadromo said.

"Journalists, activists, womens rights advocates and the general public should not have to live in fear of being taken away in the night.

Every person, whether a resident or not, has the right to freedom of expression, the right to liberty and not to be arbitrarily detained, the right to freedom of movement and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy and family."
Femlink Pacific (via Coordinator Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls) says :
"Today is World Press Freedom Day and to receive information about the detention of Fiji Times Publisher Evan Hannah is sad and shocking, but also a stark reminder of the political reality within which Fiji's media continues to operate.

What should be the eve of a global commemoration, when we celebrate the contribution of all forms of media to development and the empowerment of communities, we are reminded that we live in the shadow of a power that chooses to control the way in which information and communication is developed and delivered.

We live in a time when all people, but especially rural and remote communities, should be able to freely access a range of information, as well as feel safe and confident to share their viewpoints, in order to actively engage and participate in the the return to parliamentary democracy.

Given the current campaign of the National Council for Building a Better, this action does not augur well to enhance the opportunity for a diverse range of viewpoints to be shared. It is not the basis from which we will hear from the ordinary people, who are suffering the most (in silence) who have the biggest stake in defining the road to sustainable peace.

This is not freedom.

This does not provide the political platform for peace and stability."

Fiji's current leaders need to be reminded once again "that you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
Peceli Kinivuwai (SDL party National Director) said :
"The expulsion of Russel Hunter and Mr Hannah are a grim reminder that media freedom is restricted in Fiji and the interim regime continues to violate human rights. This was another assault on media freedom and the expulsion of Mr Hannah has brought another sad day to Fiji particularly on the eve of World Media Freedom day."
PINA (Pacific Islands News Association) says :

"They deplore the action of the Interim Government in deporting Fiji Time Publisher Evan Hannah on the eve of World Media Freedom Day.

The PINA President Joseph Ealedona said this action is a blatant attack on the freedom of the media in Fiji.

He said the arrest and deportation is clearly calculated to intimidate and silent voices that criticize the government. He is calling on the Interim Prime Minister to stick to his promise of upholding media freedom."
Fiji's Young Peoples Concerned Network says :
"We condemn the detainment of Fiji Times Publisher Evan Hannah. When members of the YPCN received news in the night that Mr. Hannah was detained by police and immigration officials, we were also made aware of Fiji Immigrations plans to deport Mr Hannah. Calls made to Immigration Officials and police reiterated information we had already received and we now make a call on the Interim Government to start displaying a HUMAN FACE and stop all this human right violations.

Fiji has come a long way since December 5th, 2006, and we are suffering economically. Young people are desperately looking for jobs and parents are finding it hard to sustain their own families. Our Government should see the plight of the people and not take steps that pull us further into the tribulations we face.

High profile deportations must stop, it is a crime against humanity - not only Mr Hannahs Deportation but also the disregard of the Interim Government of the negative consequences such unnecessary acts cause.

We ask the question of the Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and the Immigration Minister Epeli Ganilau ------ How does this deportation help Fiji?

We also call upon the Fiji Human Rights Commission and the Fiji Red Cross to provide all humanitarian and Advocacy assistance immediately.

This is a Human Right violation and contravenes our Freedoms to movements, to live with arbitrary arrests and right to Life.

Mr Hannah's detainment is a sad presentation of politics in Fiji. Where people who speak out against government are targeted. Fiji is struggling to move on but everyday the Interim Government drags us back with these acts. This is not normal politics but banana politics."
The National Federation Party's Statement (via spokesman Pramod Rae) says :
"The Regime's action is shameful and that the abduction, detention and forcible deportation of The Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah by the interim regime is a despicable and cowardly act.

The party says it is also another testimony of the fact that Fiji is now being controlled by dictators who are prepared to blatantly disregard the rule of law and resort to the law of the jungle and thuggery to satisfy their greed for power.

The party doubts the regimes promise not only to uphold media freedom but also respect the rule of law and the judiciary.

The manner in which police and immigration authorities defied a High Court Order which prevented them from deporting Mr Hannah speaks volumes about the devious intentions of those who are now illegally roaming in the corridors of power, Mr Rae said."
The Fiji Law Society said :
"It deplores the interim Government's behaviour after the deportation of The Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah earlier this morning.

"It appears the court order has been served on the appropriate authorities in good time for them to comply with," Mr Fa said. The FLS as well as all right thinking people of Fiji were waiting to see if the interim Government acknowledged the legitimacy of the court order and complied with it.

"Those matters constitute a turning point in the question of whether or not the rule of law operates in this country," he said.
The United States says :

"It is concerned by the Fiji interim Governments expulsion of Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah.

In a statement, the US Government said this is the second time the interim Government has expelled a newspaper publisher in less than 10 weeks, raising serious questions about their respect for the freedom of the press.

The statement said the US continues to condemn the military coup and the interim Governments actions to suppress the freedom of speech of those in the media.

It said the US urges the interim Government to respect the rights of all its citizens, including the rights to freedom of the press and other civil liberties.

The statement said the interim Government should abide by the commitment Commodore Bainimarama has made to hold free and fair elections by March 2009
Fiji Media council says :

"It is shocked and dismayed at the deportation of Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah on the eve of World Media Freedom day.

Council chairman Daryl Tarte, in a statement said Mr Hannah's deportation had rocked them as they were still coming to terms with what had happened to Fiji Sun publisher Russell Hunter.

But Mr Tarte said the media was unlikely to be intimidated by this latest threat.

"Apparently, Mr Hannah is alleged to have breached his work permit by publishing matters that could be a threat to national security," he said.

"However, rather than being transparent and publicly explain its actions, the Government is hiding behind a cloak of secrecy."

He said the council was not only concerned about the threat to media freedom but equally disturbed about the effect of this latest action on the Fiji economy.

Mr Tarte said there would be publicity all over the free world about Mr Hannah's deportation and this would affect investment in the country.

"Potential investors will start to equate this Government's action with those of places like Zimbabwe," Mr Tarte said.

"If the interim Government believes the expulsion of people like Russell Hunter and Evan Hannah is going to force the media to be more accommodating to them, they are wrong."

THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJs) says

It condemns the deportation of The Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah labelling it a bad omen.

Asia program co-ordinator Bob Dietz said in a CPJ news alert that the reasons given by the interim Government that the deportation of two media executives was related to security issues, was an attempt to silence journalists.

The deportation of two senior media representatives on vague security charges this year is a very bad omen, said Mr Dietz.

THE Australia Fiji Business Council says

It has condemned the actions of the Interim government officials who deported the Fiji Times Publisher, Evan Hannah.

The council, in a press statement, said that setting aside the merits of the decision taken in the first place to deport Hannah, the ignoring by officials of an order by the High Court that he should not be deported, brings into serious question the effectiveness of the rule of law in Fiji.

It said business requires a stable and certain rule of law and if state officials ignore court orders then it causes business and investor uncertainty, which will lead to further economic hardships in the country.

It is calling on the government to respect the rule of law and allow Hannah to return to Fiji and have the matter heard by the High Court. It is also urging the Interim regime to take appropriate action against those who broke the law by deporting Hannah.

The Commonwealth Press Union says :

Threats To Shut Down the Fijian Media are a Disturbing indication that a return to democracy is further away than ever.

Chairman Tim Pankhurst
said the CPU and its Media Freedom Committee strongly supported their journalist colleagues in Fiji.

"The expulsion and permanent banning of Fiji Times managing director Evan Hannah in defiance of the country's High Court really ups the ante," Mr Pankhurst said.

"Frank Bainimarama has promised reform after his illegal military takeover but is heading the other way.

"He is proving a bully of the first order. Good on the Times for standing up to him in declaring it will not be intimidated."

"What does it say for investment and tourism in Fiji when the country is so unstable?" Mr Pankhurst said.

"The prospects are not good."

The Pacific Centre for Public Integrity says :

THE interim regime has to Stop the pretence and lies.

PCPI said the interim regime has demonstrated it that it thinks it is above the rule of law, the courts and the Constitution and has stated that it is now time for the interim regime to stop the pretence and the lies, and admit that they have no intention of operating within Fijis Constitution.

The NGO stated that the deliberate measures taken by the immigration officials to avoid being served the court order to prevent the deportation of Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah shows once again the deceit and arrogance of the interim regime.


Anonymous said...

Yes well Tolle also says when people create a problem, they create pain

And every problem contains the seeds of pain within itself.

And it is when these problems are made a reality that they harm others and ourselves as well.

The mistakes we make that lead to difficulties for others will be remembered.

If you are a problem solver you will be blessed by the masses.

On the other hand, if your actions are typically problematic, you will be seen as an impediment to peace.

Leaders actions, must, in even in the most difficult circumstance improve the situation or at least not make it worse.

I cannot see how this mess is gong to be solved. But I was heartened to see Michael Field's article this morning.

This should be compulsory reading.

Anonymous said...

To Mr Hannah and the good Dr Mrs Hannah ... we feel your pain and we are so sorry for what has happened. I hope you know that the majority of Fiji did not wish you harm, and that it only a few people with evil in they intentions and in their hearts that have set out to do this.

God bless you and keep fighting the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Dr Tuinamuana is a very level headed lady.Let's hope she makes the right decision to keep her family together,despite what this idiotic government tries to do...destroy their stupid actions....deportations,sackings etc.

Anonymous said...


Just to let you know we we thought this an excellent roundup of reaction to Evan Hannah's deportation. We have highlighted this blog on our website as a
"Pick of the Postings."

Also, readers of Discombobulated Bubu might like to go to this link on Youtube

Called "Fiji Children asking more questions" it's the latest effort by Ana, also known as Patriot Abroad. We think it's another great video and another poke in the eye for an increasingly desperate regime.

Fiji Democracy Now

Discombobulated Bubu said...

Vinaka FDN - Fiji has once again generated an enormous amount of publicity internationally - but for all the wrong reasons - and all in the name of ego boosting by the tiny brains holding Fiji to ransom.

We are in a very sad bad way.