back to new archives for 15-17 June 2000
Australian Broadcasting Co.

This Bulletin: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 12:28 AEST
Fijian rebel leader cuts off international media

Fiji's coup leader, George Speight, has announced he will no longer hold
conferences for the international media.

Mr Speight has attacked both local and foreign journalists for their coverage
of events since last month's coup.

He has accused the media of misreporting the core issues which led to last
month's coup when he took more than 30 hostages.

He says the international media in particular has shown no real
understanding of, or interest in, the aspirations of indigenous Fijians.

Mr Speight says he will no longer address a daily press conference.

"Local and international press, good luck with your reporting," he said.
"The misinformation continues in bucketloads, that's fine. It doesn't deter us
one bit."

Mr Speight says he is not banning the media from the parliamentary
compound where he is holding the hostages and is prepared to continue
talking to journalists on an individual basis.

Unions

New Zealand trade unions are joining their Australian counterparts in
banning all goods to and from Fiji.

A meeting of the unions in Wellington has decided to start a boycott from
midday next Tuesday, for an initial seven-day period.

The president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Ross Wilson,
says the action is a protest against the continued detention of 31 members
of the Fijian Government by the armed rebels.

However, the president of the New Zealand-Fiji Business Council, Francis
Mortimer, has denounced the decision.

He says the main victims of trade sanctions will not be the rebels, but
innocent wage-earners who are being laid off.

Australian unions imposed a trade ban more than a week ago.

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last revision June 18, 2000