Saturday, July 5, 2014

Captain Pratibha. The First Solder

An Australian reporter recently wrote this about journalism: it's a craft, a set of trade skills that can be applied pretty universally to a range of situations.

It immediately set my mind racing with thoughts about this one journalist in Fiji and how she would have paraphrased it: I do have a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very short career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you stop criticizing Bainimarama now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will write about you, and I will trash you.

This is our Fiji Sun 'journalist' Jyoti Pratibha. She is a storm unlike Katrina or Evans that hits us everyday through her Coconut Wireless column or when she is at full force displaying her 'journalistic' skills writing advertorials for Bainimarama.  

In modern society, journalism is said to serve the role of a "fourth estate", acting as a watchdog on the workings of the government. Unfortunately, Jyoti Pratibha's modern society exists on an entirely parallel universe that determines its own agenda, facts and logic according to revelations she receives in her dreams.

An adjudicator of political parties except the Bainimarama led Fiji First which she has determined enjoys immunity from her thru one of the decrees, Jyoti  Pratibha stands at the altar of national interest and decimates these political parties like no one has ever been able to. 

International journalists have also not escaped this esteemed journalists radar. An example was when she blamed Bruce Hill of Radio Australia for unbalanced coverage. His reply was that he does not read magazines or respond to their columnists.

Jyoti has been unlike any other journalists in recent times. She has stated with conviction and without using a single cell in her brain that she is biased towards the Bainimarama government.  "I stand  for nationalism and not parochialism."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bainimarama Overwhelmed by Support for Cleansweep

Former military commander and current prime minister, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama disclosed to the reporters on Friday that he has received overwhelming support and a guaranteed assurance for a clean sweep in the upcoming general elections during a conversation he had with himself.

"It was a very private and comforting conversation," Bainimarama stated.

When pressed for more information by the reporters, Bainimarama opened up and related the conversation in detail.
"Well we spoke about Chaudhary, my new post and my chances in the upcoming election. But mostly it was about the upcoming elections and my clean sweep. Never before in my entire life have i ever been assured of such a concrete victory till last nights conversation with myself."

In other news, Mahendra Chaudhary has asked Bainimarama to reveal his salary citing him suffering amnesia during his time as the finance minister.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

PDP - The Party of Not So Real Change

2013 is the year of hope. Hope for the better that would transpire after the 2014 election. The expectations are many from the people of Fiji. The ones who have registered to vote are like warriors on leash ready to be released cum 2014 and show their might in the voting booth. 

Change is the mantra. ‘Real Change’ as many paraphrase to distinguish from Obama’s ‘Change.’ Now one such party about real change is the Peoples Democratic Party or PDP as they like to be called. Since I follow these new parties that pop up to take advantage of the desperation that people are in, I was intrigued by the posts on PDP's Facebook page. (Social media is a great tool for building a movement and this party has recognised it.)

Now back to the posts. A fan of PDP (I understand you become a fan after clicking on the ‘Like’ button) decided to question on the integrity of PDP's leaders, one who I recall is Vijay Singh. Now this is the same Vijay Singh who gave his seat to Felix Anthony after being promised a senate seat and cried foul when he didn’t get the latter. Opportunist might I say, but who am I to judge. Except that perhaps one was able to do a lot more for his/her constituency by being the Member of Parliament. 

 Again back to the issue of that Facebook post I keep astraying from. After posting about the integrity of Vijay Singh and requesting the names of PDP's other leaders, the gentleman's post was honored with a reply;

"Please read the Fiji Sun dated 28 April 2013. The names of all persons who formed this party are listed."

 A fair reply I guess. And then the post got deleted. 

 So the gentleman not the one to give in and apparently pissed off at his post getting deleted posted again and I cut and paste from the PDP’s Facebook page;

So my post was deleted. Is this the essence of democracy and free speech that PDP is espousing. What is the difference between PDP and the dictatorship that is suppressing free expression and kicking democracy down the drain. Not much I say!

Apparently this got to the PDP’s Facebook administrator and he/she shot back with the following reply;
Read our rules. We do not allow any fake profiles on this page. We stand for free speech but will not engage with persons hiding behind fake profiles. We welcome debate and this is a free speech zone as per the following rules. Please note: 1. Discuss issues and issues alone; 2. No personal attacks, we are not interested in dirty linen; and 3. No fake profiles, persons hiding behind fictitious Facebook profiles.

Now it makes me wonder whether this Admin has a sixth sense to distinguish between a fake and genuine profile. My take is, you praise PDP then your profile is genuine but if you ask them uncomfortable questions then your profile is a fake. 

Not to be taken aback by this superpower of the PDP’s Facebook admin to distinguish fake profiles, the gentleman shot back and I again cut and paste the reply;

1. It's issues that's being discussed. If I am uncomfortable with your leader, are you telling us not to speak out about it.

2. In politics there is nothing such as dirty linen. It is everyones right to have access to information about politicians and have open discussion about it.

3. I have been a member of fb for the last six years. Many of my friends have clicked on your like page and I did the same upon invitation by one of them. It's my right to ask questions if I am uncomfortable unless of course you prefer being voted without being scrutinized.

Stop being paranoid on fake profiles because your false assumption just speaks a lot about your party.

The way you guys are censoring and being paranoid speaks alot about your members.

Allow discussions instead of deleting and censoring posts that makes you uncomfortable!'

I guess at this point, the admin realized that his/her superpower may not be super at all. So he/she came back with this reply;

Everything has been done in a transparent manner. We registered PDP as per the requirements, where the Elections office advertised our party details was not our choice. Our current president of the party is Adi Sivia Qoro, Current General Secretary of the party is Sat Narayan. This FB page is a work in progress, we will post more details in the coming weeks. If you are interested in meeting party members or attending our meetings in your city, please do let us know and we will be in touch.

Now back to my initial assessment of the new parties and their ideologies. PDP as sincere as they may have been in their intention towards forming a party for all the righteous of the reasons lost an opportunity to be different from the current regime. I will leave to the intellect of the readers to form an opinion about a party who behaves no differently than the current regime by censoring what it doesn’t like and putting a spin against those who pose questions uncomfortable to the leaders. 

Straight out of Qorvis’ playbook.

My point is simple; if someone takes issues with your leader or leaders, you reply positively explaining why is it or not so. You guys perhaps aren’t interested in dirty linen but the public who may be potential voters for your party have a right to know. 

They have a damn right to the information. And it’s the damn job of that party to give information.

A party who cannot accept criticism to begin with on a social network platform is a dangerous party. People who cherish their right to freedom of expression do not want a replica of the status quo. If that was the case then no one would be thinking about elections. 

If your leader is an opportunist, and someone posts about it, it’s nobler to censure the leader than censor the post. The old adage, do no kill the messenger perhaps just flew over your head. 

Everyone who posts on your Facebook page is given the benefit of the doubt that they are genuine people. Who are you to accuse someone of having a fake profile? 

If you can’t prove it then the noble thing to do is keep the pie hole shut or in your case don’t shoot back a reply such as that of PDP’s Facebook admin.

Finally how difficult is it for a party to just publish the names f the leaders on their Facebook page. I do understand it’s free. Yet PDP’s Facebook admin kept on referring the gentleman to a newspaper advertisement. My thinking is this; are you going to make someone run around if they need information. 

Now PDP is a party who I thought would be great. Unfortunately it’s made up of people who have the same dictatorial mind frame as we have now. I would rather not vote than vote for such a party.