Subject: Suva
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 10:35:45 +1200
From: Pat Craddock <craddock_p@usp.ac.fj>
Organization: University Media Centre

Another day has gone in a poisoned Paradise sunset. The army seems as
impotent as the President was. They are now allow that thug Speight to
decline the military choice for Prime Minister. More soldiers have
defected and gone in the complex. Cars near the Parliament complex
have been stolen and the army is not to be seen. Indo/ Fijian taxi
drivers have been punched and robbed near Parliament. Is the army
treacherous or incompetent? At the moment it appears to be both. It
pledged total loyalty to President, then deposed him forty eight hours
later!!!! In their first media releases we heard that the military
would be in control for the 21 days. The times being mooted now jumps
from one, to two and then three and perhaps five years? What army
gives up control? Look at Indonesia, Burma, Nigeria and many other
countries?

Tonight gangster Speight is allowed to leave the complex and negotiate
with the army about the terms he wants? I am sure that the only end
to this affair will be the blood of the leaders most popular
government ever elected ( Chaudry got votes from both Indian and
Fijian electors and a huge majority). I predict that Speight will be
killed by someone either before his so called amnesty or soon after
it. His enemies increase by the day. He is a psycho, crook and has
never until now championed the cause of the poor.

Peggy and I are tense as most of our friends. But we are the lucky
ones - well secured house, car and a paid job. Business firms are
already laying people off from their jobs. The leaders from other
parts of the country are hinting at breaking away and forming their
own government? Whither Fiji!

The USP administration is getting paranoid. Without any consultation
with the Journalism co-ordinator, they closed down the USP Journalism
website and are talking about closing down the student newspaper
"Wansolwara" which is being printed at this moment. What a shameful
way to act! So much for a university that should encourage freedom of
speech and ideas. Part of the administration argument is that they do
not want any "opinion" to be put on the site. This includes the type
of background article by Teresia Teiawa sent to you last week. Jone
Dakevula's statement had scared the administrators. Yet, Jone too is a
USP studying for Masters Degree. There is also mumbling about
neutrality about some academics. In a time of great moral and
physical crisis there is no neutrality.

... Among the ironies is that because of the widespread use of WWW and Internet sites, the news can
be sent to dozens of different sites all over the world. So the censorship is only effective in a small location.

The media coverage from the Fiji Press has been regular, but it has
failed in a big way to generate background articles on the causes and
reasons for the coup? Jone Dakuvula and Teresia Teiawa are part of a
handful of people who have been courageous to write and speak about
what they believe. And it is as well to recall that the Constitution
that has been dragged in the gutters was the creation of Rambuka , the
leader of the Opposition and it was signed by every member of
Parliament. While the Chiefs had in some cases opposed it, they
accepted it in the final form.

Pat

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