Fiji strips licences from broadcasters
Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor | November 21, 2009 Article from: The Australian
THE military-installed Fiji government has removed all broadcasting licences and given Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum the absolute power to renew or redistribute them without any compensation to those whose licences are stripped.
Television and radio stations are broadcasting this weekend on a temporary basis, as the owner, managers, staff and audiences await the determinations of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.
He is the second-most powerful figure in the government after military commander and prime minister Frank Bainimarama.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is also Minister for Justice, Anti-Corruption, Public Enterprises, Industry, Investment and Tourism, and Communications.
The action was carried out this week by decree – the chief tool of government since the parliament was scrapped and the constitution abrogated.
The decree states that no compensation can be claimed as a result of the cancellation or reallocation of a broadcasting licence, and that no court, tribunal or commission has the jurisdiction to entertain any challenge over the loss of a licence.
Anyone broadcasting in contravention to the minister’s directions can be jailed for five years.
The dominant television broadcaster, Fiji TV, is owned by Yasana Holdings, which represents the 14 ethnic Fijian provinces, and which also owns the monopoly Papua New Guinea TV broadcaster EMTV.
Fiji TV established a reputation for impartial news coverage, although the military installed two officers on its board following the coup three years ago.
It, like the country’s other media, is now subject to stringent military censorship.
All the country’s VHF TV frequencies are in the hands of Fiji TV.
It is now expected that at least one of these frequencies will be reallocated to the government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, which operates a radio service and has expressed an intention to establish a TV network, towards which it has allocated several million dollars.
The corporation’s chief executive, appointed earlier this year, is Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, younger brother of the Attorney-General and formerly a TV journalist.
The government broadcasts directly from 7-9pm nightly, except on Sundays, on a frequency it pays to rent from Fiji TV.
Looks like the oinklets sayed-khaiyum are determined to disallow any news that may report any iota of news that may, just may have a tinge of criticism about the illegal regime in its content wiped off the face of the earth.
Can’t wait to see the boys from Delainabua sink their shiny boots into their smugness. Yep, word from up there is that these two will be the first to feel the wrath of their self made cruelty.
The soldiers will follow orders because they are paid to do so, but they don’t like upstarts like the oinklets throwing their weight around. These brothers are a big itch just waiting to be scratched.
SV is of the opinion this latest ban is a lead up to the furore about to be unleashed about the lack of progress since 6.12.06 except for the unrestrained corruption being carried out by ole bipolar oink and his cooupsters.
Third anniversary of the disaster unfairly imposed on the Nation of Fiji is coming right up on Sunday 6 December 2009.