Some of the responses to the post were from PNG readers, that illustrated a different picture, than what was painted by Johnny Blades, the correspondent from Radio NZ:
All these words of the so-called UFDF are bullshit. We Melanesians do support the regime in Fiji and we are working towards transition to democracy as planned. Commander Frank needs to sort out outstanding problems before a national election. PNG understands Fiji so Fijians are not denied democratic rights, they are all happy with the regime. Posted by: Steve Gallagher | 14 July 2013 at 07:37 PM
Agree Steve - Who is the UFDF representing? Some of these groups are set up for financial (and political) gain. They should do a survey and find out what the majority of the Fijian people think (and want) about the deprivation of their ‘freedom’. That would be a democratic thing to do. Posted by: Marcus Mapen | 15 July 2013 at 07:49 AM
Just from the week I spent recently in Fiji, I've observed that Fijians under "dictatorship" have for freedoms than PNGeans in "democratic" PNG. UFDF folks and their backers should come live in PNG and they'll figure why Fiji's a better place. Even the social policies of their "dictatorial" regime are far more progressive and inclusive than "democratic" PNG. Posted by: Martyn Namorong | 15 July 2013 at 09:59 AM
I believe you Marcus that those things happen daily in Moresby. But it's beside the point. I am not comparing Fiji to PNG and neither was the article.
Posted by: Johnny Blades | 15 July 2013 at 04:02 PM
Johnny - Of course this rival group and others in Fiji have a right to be heard. And they have a right to review their country's continued participation in MSG after they've got themselves an elected government in place. But I think Bainimarama has managed to foster a greater united front among the Melanesian countries by the mere fact that he was able to demonstrate to his peers that we don' have to do what Australia et al think is best for us. Regardless of how his opponents and others in the world see him, he is increasingly becoming a key figure among his other Melanesians who don't trust Australia et al to interfere in their political process.
Posted by: David Kitchnoge | 15 July 2013 at 04:15 PM
|Johnny Blades in sunglasses (Source: Pacific Scoop)|
What was interesting, was the fact that Radio NZ correspondent Johny Blades had to chime in and defend the use of drive-by journalism in his biased interview, to the readers.
Posted below (mp3 file) is an audio mash-up of the Radio NZ interview, featuring some added rebuttals to the otherwise idealogue and partisan comments.