By Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has sent an editorial to Fiji’s media outlets explaining why the country’s military-backed regime has been suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum.
But media censorship in Fiji means Mr Rudd’s piece is not being made public.
Mr Rudd says interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s actions, including the recent scrapping of the constitution, have damaged Fiji’s international standing and the reputation of its military.
But he says that damage is made worse by the effect on Fiji’s economy, which is already highly vulnerable due to the global financial crisis.
Mr Rudd’s piece was provided to local media outlets yesterday.
Currently, all Fiji’s newsrooms are being monitored by censors who have been instructed to only allow positive coverage of the interim government, and local sources there say Mr Rudd’s editorial has not appeared in any of them.