Home » Uncategorized » USP will not host Media Watch’s panel discussion “Reporting On The Elections Now and After the Elections” as it is likely to be in breach.

USP will not host Media Watch’s panel discussion “Reporting On The Elections Now and After the Elections” as it is likely to be in breach.

NGO’s election debate to avoid Fiji decree breach

Updated at 3:55 pm today

The University of the South Pacific in Fiji has cancelled a non government organisation’s debate on issues relating to the election because it could be in breach of the Electoral Decree.

Section 115 restricts any group receiving foreign funding from campaigning on election issues, which includes organising debates, panel discussions or publishing information.

A journalism lecturer, Pat Craddock, says the USP will not host Media Watch’s panel discussion “Reporting On The Elections Now and After the Elections” as it is likely to be in breach.

He says Media Watch’s offer to pay for refreshments may also infringe the decree as it could be seen as a gift from an NGO.

Mr Craddock says the university will put on a replacement event to discuss press freedom.

“It excludes educational organisations such as the USP, so we’re going to do it ourselves, because there is no point in putting any NGO under pressure. They can be fined up to 50,000 bucks and they can get 10 years prison or both.”

Pat Craddock says Ashwin Raj from the Media Industry Development Authority is a confirmed panelist at USP’s event.

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9 thoughts on “USP will not host Media Watch’s panel discussion “Reporting On The Elections Now and After the Elections” as it is likely to be in breach.

  1. The illegal and treasonous regime probably doesn’t want Raj publicly humiliated again and with Raj’s renowned ego he will be in a right old huff about not being able to flex his 4-syllabled nonsense in the public domain.

  2. NGOs and others should forget about using USP as venues or to co-host election related panel discussions or lectures. Their reputation of too much lamu, namu and liumuri precedes the current USP leadership. NGOs should link up with oppositional political parties, trade unions, religious groups and other progressive institutions to devise creative ways of holding these vital public discussions without falling foul of the regime’s oppressive decrees. Plan B of course would be to carry out what Dan Urai threatened last month which is to ignore the junta’s unjust laws or treat them decrees for what they really are – as a joke and with disdain. Free and fair elections is not only about what happens on Election Day, it’s about what’s happening now as well, and maybe we’ll need to put bodies on the line depending on how committed we are to having a truly free and fair election come September.

  3. It certainly is the animal farm scenario where higher education institutions no longer have the privilege to engage in independent and critical thinking and to openly debate policy and law that effect people. It is perhaps a telling legacy of the Bainikaiyum coup that will be recorded in history – the roping in of this regional high education entity under the Bainikaiyum decrees! Present and future generation will remember that his calamity did not arise by itself but by the acquiescence of the conniving academicians who support the Bainikaiyum answer to Fiji’s woes. A coup to rid corruption, inequality and unfairness has ended up being the coup to silence USP from debating corruption, inequality and unfairness. How ironical! To disallow a higher learning institution the freedom of critical thinking and academic expression is just as laughable as it gets. It just confirms again the dire absence of free speech and free association in what has clearly been a highly controversial election scheme!!

  4. Remember this Pat Craddock as someone with expertise in olden days media methods,,,,,,,,former usp leacturer from 70s…………..no wonder usp is f’d up

  5. While a modern education, academic freedom and debate are at the core of the success of any society or nation, in Fiji education is a danger to the great leaders. Imagine there would an open and free debate on what the great leaders have achieved in the last eight years! People would learn what enormous personal benefits can be arrogated if you hold the guns. Unfortunately, there is not a single scenario where Fiji’s ordeal can end without taking stock of the performance of all the generals, admirals and colonels in power.

  6. Pat Craddock would be in his seventies now. He was a bid of a plodder in y time. Not much of a teacher. USP journalism has gone back at least two decades of not more.

  7. if Ashwin is going to be a panel member, why not put Matai Akauola, Maika Bolatiki and Leone Cabenatabua there too. These are the scum of media journalists’ by comparison anywhere. They can then veicai cici up there for all to see and maybe compare whose tongue has been most stretched and abused from the drami cici and domi soresore they’ve been all doing to FB, Aiyaz and even his Aiyaz’s brother Riyaz..

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