Frank Bainimarama shuts ABC’s FM radio stations in Fiji

Font Size: Decrease Increase Print Page: Print UPDATED | April 15, 2009
Article from: The Australian
FRANK Bainimarama’s military regime is forcing the ABC to shut down its radio transmitters in Fiji to limit “negative” reports about the government’s undemocratic rule.

Great time to visit Fiji’
Despite being kicked out of Fiji, journalist Sean Dorney encourages tourists to visit the country…
Views today: 401Sorry, this video is no longer available.The broadcaster says it has been ordered to close its FM relay stations in the capital, Suva, and in the tourist town of Nadi.

“Local sources have since confirmed Radio Australia is off the air in both locations,” the ABC said.

However, it is still able to broadcast in the troubled country on its shortwave transmitter.

Coup leader Bainimarama believes freedom of speech causes trouble and must be curbed to allow the military government to do its work.

In an attempt to justify tough restrictions on local and international media reporting of recent political upheaval in the island nation, Commodore Bainimarama said he did not like to hear opposition to his plans.

“We want to come up with these reforms and the last thing we want to do is have opposition to these reforms throughout,” he told Radio New Zealand today.

“So that is the reason we’ve come up with the emergency regulations.”

His comments follow Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s rejection of Australia’s criticism of the purge of Fiji’s judiciary.

“The new judges will be just as independent as the old judges,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum told The Australian.

Commodore Bainimarama has assumed greater power in recent days after the abrogation of the constitution following a Court of Appeal ruling that his Government was illegal.

An information vacuum exists after he imposed severe coverage restrictions on local media and expelled all Australian and New Zealand journalists from the country.

Asked about every country’s need to have open and free discussions, Commodore Bainimarama said: “Not in Fiji”.

“The circumstances have changed,” he said.

“We (the government) now decide what needs to be done for our country.”

He said freedom of speech had caused trouble in the past and was the reason for the political upheaval in the past few days.

“That was how we came up with what has happened in the last few days,” he said.

Fiji’s central bank announced on Wednesday that its dollar has been devalued by 20 percent with the latest political crisis.

The devaluation was announced by new Reserve Bank governor Sada Reddy soon after he was installed by the military-led government.

It comes a day after the dismissal of former governor Savenaca Narube and the introduction of exchange controls to prevent the flight of capital.


3 Responses to “Frank Bainimarama shuts ABC’s FM radio stations in Fiji”

  1. FijiGirl Says:

    It’s just like the old days – we’ll all be huddled around our shortwave radios at dusk, cauravou adjusting with the dial to get the signal, everyone craning their necks, a hand behind one ear, to catch the faint voice reporting the news.

    So Vore, you still think your coup has taken Fiji forward?

    God bless Fiji

  2. Ben_St0ne Says:

    Vinaka Tamana me dua ga na shortwave antenna me plugtaki vena nomu cobo……hihihihi…… kila blerry fool.

  3. Relax Man Says:

    Why do you need foreign radio stations when you can listen to FM96 or Vit FM, well thats if you’re fijian otherwise you must be a forigner so please shorten your holiday and piss off!!!

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