Today’s Fiji Times Editorial is a good summary of the current situation in Fiji.
It is a situation which pro-democracy bloggers have been saying all along would eventuate if this illegal regime is left to operate unchecked and unchallenged.
The editorial reads:-
AS each day passes, we wonder if it is at all possible to maintain some semblance of good and rational judgment on how the nation is governed.
As each week passes, we wonder if it will be at all possible to return this nation to parliamentary democracy.
As another month passes, we wonder if indeed this military-style clean-up campaign will ever end.
We watch as friends and relatives of those in power take up important positions in the civil service and public institutions.
The latest is that of the son of an interim Cabinet minister appearing from nowhere and given the chairmanship of an organisation which the State holds majority shares in.
We see how FICAC officers try to force confidential information on particular persons from statute-guided institutions such as the Fiji Development Bank, Fijian Holdings and Fiji Inland Revenue and Customs Authority.
The morale of workers in these institutions and that of civil servants is dented. In the face of the initial statement by military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that no one in the military was going to benefit from the coup, we see senior military officers being posted to high-level posts in the civil service.
It seems that rules are changed as situations and circumstances change.
The appointments to such high positions are becoming almost predictable now with the sympathisers of the events of 5/12 getting the nod ahead of others.
No, that’s not nepotism or corruption, we are told. They are all best-man-for-the-job appointments.
The message coming out of the fourth floor of Government Buildings points to an election to be held only when the President’s mandate has been successfully fulfilled.
Forget about honouring the roadmaps and agreements with the European Union or the Pacific Island nations’ forum.
It looks like we do not really need the EU’s multi-million dollar financial package any longer because there is always the soft loan from China we can fall back on.
Our children watch helplessly as their parents and family members are laid off work or have their pay cut because of the deteriorating economic situation.
We watch as some of the freedoms guaranteed in the supreme law of the land, such as freedom of movement and speech, are curtailed without any proper explanation or legal reasoning.
We wonder if and when we will ever get out of this deepening hole we are digging for ourselves.
And sadly, there are very few positive things we can be pleased and talk about these days.
We hate to say it but we did tell you so!
Bloggers have predicting increased instances of corruption, nepotism and human rights violations by this illegal junta.
This is only possible because the mainstream media (unlike the pro-democracy bloggers) have been pulling back their punches.
Isn’t it about time the mainstream media got on board with the mission of pro-democracy bloggers and work towards making a more concerted effort to expose, challenge and publish all the wrongs being perpertrated by this illegal regime.
Simply trying to report the news without offering an indepth anaylsis of where the IG is taking this country is the same thing as offering their tacit support to the military regime to continue to do what they do - afterall if IG continue to act this way, the mainstream media will continue to make more sales - but at what expense?
The country needs the mainstream media to be more pro-active in our collective fight for what is right. It is afterall for the good of the nation as a whole.
The mainstream media cannot take an “independent” stance in all this because they are in a unique position to effect real change in public opinion on the virtues (or lack thereof) of this coup.
The pro-democracy bloggers cannot do this on their own and the mainstream media must play their part in exposing these culprits or the next time they happen to take a good look at the country - they might no longer recognise it.