Asia-Pacific Network

1999 NEWS ARCHIVE

Asia-Pacific Network provides independent journalism on social, political, environmental, media and development issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The following is a selection of some of the articles and links to other articles and sites. Seek permission from the editor before republication.

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Copyright © 1996-1999David Robie and the authors. PO Box 78028, Auckland 2, Aotearoa/New Zealand, or c/- Journalism, University of the South Pacific, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji.


CURRENT HEADLINES


RSF logo
  • MEDIA: 'YOU ARE A JOURNALIST. WE ARE GOING TO KILL YOU'
    Reporters Sans Frontieres: 1 December 1999
    The campaign of terror conducted by the Indonesian army and Timorese militia has taken a heavy toll. Between April and September 1999, two journalists were murdered and hundreds assaulted, media were ransacked and destroyed, and those regarded as hostile to continued ties with Indonesia were continually threatened.
    Full article on RSF's English website with images..

  • MEDIA: PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH PROTESTS OVER KIRIBATI BAN ON NZ JOURNALIST
    Pacific Media Watch: 30 November 1999
    Pacific Media Watch has protested over a reported ban by the Kiribati Government on a New Zealand-based correspondent for the international news agency Agence France-Presse. Michael Field has been barred from entering the country because of a series of unflattering articles in Pacific Islands Monthly.

  • NEW ZEALAND: HELEN CLARK AND LABOUR SWEEP TO VICTORY IN POLLS
    Scoop Website: 29 November 1999
    Helen Clark has became the first elected woman prime minister of New Zealand as the Labour Party swept back into office after nine years in opposition. After winning 52 of Parliament's 120 seats, it will form a coalition government with the left-wing Alliance (11 seats). Latest updates.

  • MEDIA: AUSTRALIAN PRESS COUNCIL FELLOW'S REPORT ON THE PACIFIC
    Australian Press Council: 29 November 1999
    By David Robie
    The Australian Press Council 1999 Fellow David Robie's report on the dilemmas facing the Pacific news media and his account of the visit to Australia during the Oceania conference of the World Press Associations in Brisbane in June.

  • MEDIA: CAFE PACIFIC AND ONLINE CENSORSHIP
    AsiaPacificMediaEducator: 29 November 1999
    By David Robie
    Internet media developments have had a far-reaching impact on journalism education in the South Pacific, particularly Papua New Guinea and Fiji. This is a commentary on how, more than a decade after the military coups, the post-coup 1990 Constitution of Fiji casts a shadow on media and journalism education methodology, in spite of the new "free speech" 1997 Constitution (which became effective in July 1998).

  • NEW ZEALAND: GREENS REACH SIX PER CENT IN POLL COUNTDOWN
    Scoop Website: 26 November 1999
    The left-of-centre Labour Party is expected to win the New Zealand election on November 27 but is likely to need a governing coalition with the leftwing Alliance and the Greens parties. Latest updates.

  • MALAYSIA: POLL CAMPAIGN GETS DIRTIER BY THE DAY
    Inter Press Service: 25 November 1999
    By Anil Netto
    Malaysia's ruling coalition, led by Mahathir's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has kicked off its campaign with full-page advertisements in major newspapers that raised the spectre of violence and unrest if the Opposition do well in this bitterly fought poll. Protests of dirty tricks have been rife for the election due on November 29.

  • Pacific Media Watch logo
  • MEDIA: FIJI TIMES ACCUSES GOVERNMENT OF 'VENDETTA'
    Pacific Media Watch: 25 November 1999
    The Fiji Times, the country's oldest and major daily newspaper, has accused the Government of "conducting a vendetta" against it following a bitter personal attack in Parliament against its acting editor and two journalists.

  • FIJI ISLANDS: PM BATTLES WITH MEDIA
    Scoop Website: 24 November 1999
    By David Robie
    The honeymoon is over for Fiji's first Indo-Fijian prime minister who has been locked in a bitter verbal duel with some local news media proprietors and editors who accuse him of wanting to become a dictator.

  • FIJI ISLANDS: 'SWIFT JUSTICE' THREAT STIRS UP A HORNET'S NEST
    Gemini News Service: 19 November 1999
    By David Robie
    The honeymoon appears to be over for Fiji's first Indo-Fijian prime minister. Six months after Mahendra Chaudhry won a landslide victory in his island nation, Gemini News Service reports journalists and opposition politicians are accusing him of acting like a dictator, particularly in his approach to the media.

  • MEDIA: FIJI'S CHAUDHRY DUELS WITH NEWS MEDIA
    Pacific Media Watch: 19 November 1999
    By David Robie
    Fed up with what he terms a "crisis of ethics", Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has stepped up his pressure on the local news media industry. A backgrounder on developments.

  • MEDIA: EDITOR CHALLENGES MINISTER OVER MEDIA CLAMPDOWN
    Pacific Media Watch: 12 November 1999
    Papua New Guinean newspaper editor Oseah Philemon has challenged the Fiji Islands Government to release details of a proposed state-controlled media tribunal. He has said this while reaffirming his claim that the Fiji Islands would become the first country to be ruled by a civilian dictator if Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry goes ahead with "his threat to legislate against media freedom in Fiji".

  • MEDIA: MINISTER HITS BACK AT PINA EDITOR
    Pacific Media Watch: 11 November 1999
    Fiji's Assistant Information Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi has accused Papua New Guinea newspaper editor Oseah Philemon, who is vice-president of the Pacific Islands News Association, of being "misinformed" and "hallucinating" in criticisms of the Government's threats on media regulation.

  • MEDIA: TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL OFFER AS FIJI 'MEDIATOR'
    Pacific Media Watch: 5 November 1999
    The Fiji chapter of Transparency International has called on news media and the Fiji Islands Government to "take time out" and offered to mediate in the controversy over media credibility.

  • MEDIA: WANSOLWARA SPECIAL EDITION ON PACIFIC NEWS ISSUES
    Wansolwara: 1 November 1999
    The University of the South Pacific journalism training newspaper has published a special issue on the regional media, including articles on the now-lifted Solomon Islands gag, the Fiji credibility debate, media freedom, media coverage of East Timor, media training, and profiles on Oseah Philemon (Post-Courier) and Netani Rika (Fiji Times).

  • MEDIA: PACIFIC JOURNALISM TARGETS SATELLITE STRATEGY
    Wansolwara: 1 November 1999
    By David Robie
    Journalism education in the South Pacific is taking a leap into the satellite era as the regional university develops its new F$13 million communications strategy. The regional journalism programme is well-placed to use audio, television and Pacific-wide intranet links opened up by the project.

  • MEDIA: FIJI GOVERNMENT ATTACKS 'MEDIA HYSTERIA'
    Pacific Media Watch: 30 October 1999
    The Fiji Government has attacked "media hysteria" by the local and foreign-owned news media, accusing Rupert Murdoch's Fiji Times of "fanning the fires of sedition and racism". In an eight-page advertisement in the Fiji Sun, the Government has continued its latest tirade against news media.

  • MEDIA: WHAT THE FIJI PRIME MINISTER ACTUALLY SAID
    Fiji Ministry of Information: 29 October 1999
    The full text of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's controversial speech at the October 26 launching of the Fiji Media Council code of ethics and responses to it.

  • MEDIA: PAYBACK TIME FOR FIJI'S NEWS CRITICS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 29 October 1999
    By David Robie
    Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's latest - and most bitter - attack on the Fiji news media professionalism and ethics has drawn defensive responses from the four major media organisations singled out for the lambasting.

  • MEDIA: FIJI MEDIA COUNCIL DEFENDS COMPLAINTS PROCESS
    Pacific Media Watch: 29 October 1999
    Fiji Media Council chairman Daryl Tarte has spoken out defending the council's adjudication procedures, confirming that at least four complaints have been received from the Fiji Government.

  • MEDIA: FIJI SUN FINED F$3000 FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT
    Pacific Media Watch: 20 October 1999
    The Fiji Sun, a new daily newspaper launched less than two months ago, has been fined F$3000 for contempt of court in a case described by a judge as the worst he had encountered in 22 years in law.A rival newspaper, Fiji's Daily Post, has also published an editorial questioning Fiji news media's coverage of trials.

  • MEDIA: IT TAKES A VILLAGE
    Asia-Pacific Network: 20 October 1999
    By Sheila Coronel
    A speech by the executive director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Speaking to the Makati Business Club in Manila, she discusses the challenges to press freedom in the Philippines.

  • Pacific Media Watch logo
  • MEDIA: PINA99 CONVENTION IN SUVA
    Pacific Media Watch: 8-11 October 1999
    A Pacific Island Internet expert says the challenge for island nations is to use information technology appropriately and in a manner which works in our time. Taholo Kami, manager of the Small Islands Developing States Network (SIDSnet), calls for a greater outreach through innovative use of current mediums of communication. Also: Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's opening speech, media reaction and developments in journalism education.

  • MEDIA: THE HIGH PRICE OF REPORTING THE EAST TIMOR TRAGEDY
    Asia-Pacific Network: 3 October 1999 *Picture
    By David Robie
    Journalists bearing witness in the tragedy of East Timor have paid a high price. The two latest killings of reporters, a Dutch newspaper journalist and an Indonesian television investigator, have shocked the world.

  • EAST TIMOR: AUSTRALIA COUNTS THE COST OF MILITARY INVOLVEMENT
    Inter Press Service: 1 October 1999
    By Sonny Inbaraj
    East Timor is fast becoming extremely expensive for Australia, leader of a multinational force tasked to restore order in the ravaged territory. Australians have been told to brace themselves for higher interest rates, welfare cuts or the loss of tax breaks as the government allots at least 2 billion Australian dollars a year for its military commitment to the territory.

  • FIJI ISLANDS: UPROAR OVER LAND AND GOVERNMENT
    Asia-Pacific Network: 29 September 1999
    By Sanjay Ramesh
    September has been a volatile month in Fiji politics. The land issue came head on as Fijian groups put aside their differences to put a united stand against the government proposal on ALTA.

  • HUMAN RIGHTS: STORIES OF INDONESIAN ARMY ATROCITIES EMERGE IN AMBON
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation (AM News, via Joyo): 28 September 1999
    By Alison Caldwell
    Stories are emerging from the Indonesian island of Ambon. Racked by eight months of communal killings and under martial law, recent violence in Ambon has gone almost unreported as the world's eyes and cameras have turned to East Timor.

  • MEDIA: FALLOUT OVER 'BAN' OF BBC WEBSITE IN FIJI
    Media Beat: 25 September 1999
    By Sione Mailei
    The BBC's new educational website Sexwise - offering advice for young people on sexual health - was among many 'access denied' sites under the University of the South Pacific's new policy. However, since Wansolwara published the story on 30 August 1999 and Fiji TV ran a follow-up news item on web censorship at USP, the BBC website has been freed up for campus use.

  • MEDIA: FIJI SUN DAILY NEWSPAPER MAKES DEBUT
    Pacific Media Watch: 24 September 1999
    The long-awaited Fiji Sun daily newspaper has made its debut with a pledge that it would "lift the standard of journalism in the country and in the [Pacific] region". But followed up with apologies over errors in its front-page stories

  • EAST TIMOR: INDONESIA TO TAKE PART IN INQUIRY OF ABUSES
    Inter Press Service: 24 September 1999
    By Gustavo Capdevila
    The United Nations commission that will investigate human rights violations in East Timor will work in co-operation with Indonesia - the nation occupying the island territory - according to an agreement beginning to take shape between European and Asian countries.

  • EAST TIMOR: DUTCH JOURNALIST SHOT DEAD
    Pacific Media Watch/Financial Times: 23 September 1999
    The death of Sander Thoenes, the Financial Times Jakarta correspondent, has been confirmed by his newspaper after he went missing while reporting on the deployment of the international peacekeeping force in East Timor. He was shot by gunmen while riding on the back of a motorcycle taxi in the suburb of Becora on the outskirts of Dili. See report, editorial and obituary.

  • ACTIVISM: REPORTS ON THE EIGHTH NUCLEAR-FREE AND INDEPENDENT PACIFIC (NFIP) CONFERENCE IN TAHITI
    Asia Pacific Network: 19 September 1999
    Reports on the eighth Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement conference in Arue, Tahiti, 19-25 September 1999, include: Oscar Temaru on East Timor, ĆAkilisi Pohiva on Tonga, Hilda Lini on Vanuatu, and the final communiques.

  • POLITICS: NOW EAST TIMOR, NEXT WEST PAPUA
    Asia-Pacific Network: 15 September 1999
    By Otto Ondawame
    East Timor's vote for independence is the beginning of the road to freedom for Indonesia's "colonies." The events of 30 August 1999 will undoubtedly inspire others struggling to disentangle themselves from the Indonesian regime, in particular West Papua.

  • BOUGAINVILLE: HEED THE PEACE CRY
    The National (PNG): 15 September 1999
    By Moresi Ruahma'a
    A Bougainvillean journalist who survived a military ambush in 1993 writes from Port Moresby of his memories of the pain and anguish he feels about the tragedy in his homeland.

  • EAST TIMOR: INDONESIA ACCEPTS QUICK DEPLOYMENT OF PEACEKEEPERS WITHOUT CONDITIONS
    The Nando Times: 14 September 1999 *Link
    By Edith M. Lederer
    Indonesia is now requesting that an international peacekeeping force be sent to violence-ravaged East Timor as quickly as possible and is putting no conditions on what countries' forces should be included.

  • EAST TIMOR: RAPE USED OVER AND OVER AS A SYSTEMATIC TORTURE
    Sydney Morning Herald: 13 September 1999
    By Louise Williams and Leonie Lamont
    Indonesian soldiers have used rape as a secret weapon and a means of systematic torture in East Timor, but their "orphans" bear silent witness.

    Other useful sources:

  • East Timor Action Network
    Links to latest news and tips for activists supporting East Timor independence.
  • East Timor Observer Project
    IFET's East Timor Observer Project monitoring of events.
  • Green Left Weekly
    Sydney-based publication's updates on the East Timor crisis
  • Radio Australia
    Radio Australia World News offers coverage of East Timor through ABC News online.
  • Slate Magazine
    Slate's "International Papers", which offers brief descriptions of what newspapers around the world are writing about the main stories being covered internationally - including East Timor.
  • The Jakarta Post
    The "journal of Indonesia today", a daily newspaper in Indonesia which joined papers around the world in blaming the Indonesian government for the East Timor crisis.
  • ZNet
    Z magazine's coverage of East Timor includes a piece by Ed Herman on "inhumanitarian nonintervention", a history of the conflict in East Timor from Noam Chomsky.

  • Daily Post
  • EAST TIMOR: PACIFIC OPINION: 'STOP THE BLOODBATH'
    Fiji's Daily Post: 11 September 1999
    Editorial
    Fiji's Daily Post says: "The world must take the initiative and move to stop the bloodshed [in East Timor]. What is needed is a multinational force to replace the Indonesian military presence and protect the people of East Timor from further atrocities."

  • EAST TIMOR: UNITED NATIONS WARNS OVER 'CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY'
    Inter Press Service: 10 September 1999
    By Farhan Haq
    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told Indonesia to immediately agree to to the deployment of an international force to restore peace in East Timor or face charges of crimes against humanity.

  • EAST TIMOR: JAKARTA NATIONALISM STRIPS HABIBIE'S POWER
    Australian Financial Review: 10 September 1999 *Link
    By Tim Dodd
    Indonesia's stance against the international community over violence in East Timor has stirred intense nationalism in Jakarta which appears to have stripped power from President B.J. Habibie and, in effect, put the army chief, General Wiranto, in charge of the country.

  • EAST TIMOR: MEDIA CIRCUS ROLLS OUT AS HORROR SHOW BEGINS
    Pacific Media Watch: 9 September 1999 *Picture
    The circus quickly gave way to a horror show in the hours and days immediately following the East Timor ballot. As militias ran amok in Dili and surrounding areas, journalists were no less a target than members of rival camps. At least three journalists were wounded - a Kompas daily journalist, a Reuters photographer and a BBC reporter.

  • EAST TIMOR: TOKYO ASKED TO LEAN ON JAKARTA AS MARTIAL LAW DECLARED
    Inter Press Service: 7 September 1999
    By Suvendrini Kakuchi
    Activists claim Japan, Indonesia's major aid donor, should pressure Jakarta more as martial law is declared in East Timor and jailed guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmao is freed.

  • EAST TIMOR: US INACTION RESULTS IN MORE DEATHS IN POST-REFERENDUM VIOLENCE
    Asia-Pacific Network: 7 September 1999
    By Eric S. Piotrowski
    Less than 24 hours after the United Nations announced that more than 78 per cent of registered voters in East Timor had voted to reject Indonesia's autonomy package, Indonesian military and paramilitary forces have sharply escalated their campaign of terror.

  • EAST TIMOR: JOURNALISTS FLEE MILITIA-CONTROLLED DILI
    Pacific Media Watch: 6 September 1999
    Foreign journalists covering the historic vote for independence in East Timor have now mostly left the territory as Indonesian troops and armed anti-independence militia control the streets of the capital. More than 78 per cent voted for independence from Indonesia.

  • MEDIA: SOUTH-EAST ASIA'S PRESS UNDER SIEGE
    Asia Times Online: 4 September 1999 *Link
    By Kevin McGahan
    South-east Asia's press is under siege. In the past year, Malaysian editors have been forced to resign, Philippine dailies threatened with financial ruin, and Thai newspaper offices bombed. Oddly, these incidents have occurred in the region's more democratic regimes with fairly sophisticated and well-established media outlets, signalling a threat to democracy and economic growth in the region.

  • EAST TIMOR: BBC SPECIAL REPORT
    BBC World Service: 2 September 1999 *Link *Photograph
    Pro-Indonesian militias in East Timor have pressed on with a campaign of violence and intimidation, despite strong condemnation from the UN Security Council and international outrage.

  • EAST TIMOR: BBC MAN: 'I'M LUCKY TO BE ALIVE'
    BBC World Service: 2 September 1999 *Link *Photograph
    BBC correspondent Jonathan Head was caught up in the violence in East Timor. After witnessing a man being hacked to death outside the UN compound, he was chased and beaten himself by pro-Indonesian militias. The incident was captured on film by a crew from the American channel, CNN. Media updates

  • SOLOMON ISLANDS: PLEA FOR CRISIS FAIRNESS
    Wansolwara: 1 September 1999 *LINK
    By Duran Angiki
    The Australian government and other overseas aid agencies are being warned to be cautious about giving financial assistance to displaced Malaitans on Guadalcanal without knowing the "real situation" in the troubled island of the Solomons.

  • EAST TIMOR: PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH CALLS FOR UN ACTION OVER JOURNALISTS, POLL
    Pacific Media Watch: 29 August 1999
    Pacific Media Watch has called upon the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to strengthen the United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) by initiating immediate action to insert a UN Peacekeeping Force into East Timor to maintain security for the ballot and following period. PMW has also protested over the failure failure to crack down on the escalating violence by Indonesian military-backed pro-Jakarta militia against journalists and other media workers, election monitors, UN personnel, as well as the long-suffering East Timorese.

  • RSF logo
  • MEDIA: RSF PROTESTS OVER 'INFORMATION SABOTAGE' OF EAST TIMOR REFERENDUM
    Pacific Media Watch: 28 August 1999
    The people of East Timor go to the polls on 30 August 1999 to vote on the autonomy or independence of the territory invaded by Indonesia in 1975. The organisation of the voting and the electoral campaign have been marred by violence from pro-Indonesian paramilitary groups supported by Jakarta, particularly against independent East Timor and Indonesian journalists and foreign correspondents. Reporters sans Frontieres says the Indonesian police and army have also been guilty of harassment of Indonesian reporters.
    Reporters sans Frontieres link
  • EAST TIMOR: STUDENTS BID FOR 'TERROR' FREE VOTE
    Wansolwara: 28 August 1999
    By Duran Angiki
    Students and staff of the University of the South Pacific have petitioned Pacific leaders in last ditch bid to seek a fair vote "free from terror" in the August 30 referendum on East Timor's political future.

  • MEDIA: BLOOD ON THE CROSS IN WEST PAPUA
    Wansolwara: 28 August 1999
    By David Robie
    While coverage of East Timor and West Papua affairs gains worldwide attention, Pacific news media give cursory coverage and many developments are not covered at all. Backgrounder on a recent ABC Four Corners documentary.

  • MEDIA: FIJI'S DAILY POST CHALLENGES PARLIAMENTARY ATTACK
    Pacific Media Watch: 28 August 1999
    One of two daily newspapers in the Fiji Islands, the Daily Post, has published an editorial condemning an attack in Parliament by an opposition member. MP Konisi Yabaki alleged that the Fiji Labour Party-led coalition government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry had given a directive to the newspaper to report positively about it.

  • EAST TIMOR: FEARS OF BLOODBATH OVER REFERENDUM
    IFET-OP: 25 August 1999
    Indonesian security forces and pro-integration militias are intimidating East Timorese voters and have thrown into question the legitimacy of the ballot on 30 August 1999, the International Federation for East Timor Observer Project (IFET-OP) says in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
    IFET-OP link

  • EAST TIMOR: 'BIG DRUM UP' IN SUPPORT OF INDEPENDENCE
    Green Left Weekly #373: 25 August 1999 *Link
    By Phil Davey
    Australia's Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has joined forces with the NSW Labor Council and the Harbourside Brasserie to stage a massive fundraising benefit for the East Timor Emergency Appeal being run by trade union aid organisation APHEDA.
    Green Left updates on East Timor

  • EAST TIMOR: FILM MAKER DAVID MUNRO DIES
    Green Left Weekly #373: 25 August 1999 *Link
    David Munro, the British film maker, who directed East Timor: Death of a Nation with Australian investigative journalist John Pilger and many other hard-hitting political documentaries, has died.

  • MEDIA: PM LAMBASTS FIJI TIMES 'CRUSADE'
    Pacific Media Watch: 25 August 1999
    Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has accused The Fiji Times of embarking on a crusade to discredit the Fiji Islands government. He said in Parliament it was frustrating that the government's good intentions were being questioned constantly. The Fiji Times has rejected the claim.

  • ECONOMY: PUSH FOR PACIFIC FREE TRADE AREA GROWS AS LOME PACT FADES
    Inter Press Service: 24 August 1999
    By Debbie Singh
    The South Pacific's 16 independent nations are giving new impetus to the concept of a free trade area among themselves, as the date for phaseout of the fourth Lome Convention looms closer. The current Lome agreement expires on February 1, 2000.

  • MEDIA: UPNG LECTURER CRITICAL OVER LACK OF HELP
    Pacific Media Watch/Uni Tavur (PNG): 23 August 1999
    By Sorariba Nash
    A journalism educator questions why a plea for Pacific cooperation in assisting the national University of Papua New Guinea journalism programme hasn't been heeded while a books appeal has been recently launched for a private university, Divine Word.

  • MEDIA: NEW FIJI SUN PLANS BIG IMPACT ON MARKET
    Pacific Media Watch: 11 August 1999
    By David Robie
    A third daily newspaper is about to be launched in the Fiji Islands and is expected to strongly challenge the two existing papers with state-of-the art technology and fresh ideas. The Fiji Sun is named after an earlier newspaper which closed after the 1987 military coups rather than publish under a self-censorship regime.

  • AVIATION: AIR FIJI'S FLIGHT PC121 'HIT A TREE BEFORE GOING DOWN'
    Pasifik Nius: 11 August 1999 *Link
    Investigators into the ill-fated Air Fiji flight PC121 have found that the plane collided first with a huge tree at an altitude of 1300 feet before it crashed, the Daily Post reports. This happened about 1.3 kilometres from the main crash site on July 24, 1999, an interim report released to the media by government last night stated.

  • MEDIA: THE 20 'ENEMIES' OF THE INTERNET
    Reporters Sans Frontieres: 9 August 1999
    By Reporters Sans Frontieres
    Forty five countries restrict Internet access and 20 of them may be termed "real enemies" of the medium, according to a new report by Reporters Sans Frontieres. RSF calls the 20 countries "enemies of the Internet because they control access totally or partially, have censored websites or have taken action against users."

  • CRIME: SAMOA'S DEADLY CORRUPTION DRAMA UNFOLDS
    Australian Financial Review/AFP: 9 August 1999 *Link
    By Michael Field
    The assassination of a Cabinet minister, the arrest of two leading politicians and the imposition of the death penalty on one of their sons is turning into a seismic event for Samoa as a deep strain of high-level political corruption is revealed in the drama. Central to it all is former prime minister Tofilau Eti Alesana, who died in March, and his finance minister, now Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sailele.

  • Luagalau
    Luagalau. TVNZ
  • CRIME: DEATH PENALTY FOR SAMOAN SLAYING
    Television One (NZ): 7 August 1999 *Link
    The son of a former Samoan cabinet minister has been sentenced to death for assassinating Public Works Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu. Luagalau was shot dead at a political function on July 16. Eletise Leafa Vitale, 34, pleaded guilty; his father and another former minister have also been charged over the killing.
    Samoa Observer's report
  • CRIME: FORMER WOMEN'S MINISTER THIRD MAN CHARGED OVER SAMOAN ASSASSINATION
    Samoa Observer: 6 August 1999 *Link
    Samoa's sacked Minister of Women's Affairs, Leafa Vitale, has been charged with murder in the Supreme Court following the assassination of the Minister of Public Works, Luagalau Levaula Kamu, on July 16. He is now the third man to have been charged over the killing of Luagalau.

  • FIJI ISLANDS: GUNS, GOVERNMENT AND THE MEDIA
    Pacific Islands Report: 6 August 1999 *Link
    By Sanjay Ramesh
    At the beginning of July, Fiji Islands police started a hunt for armed hoods, who went on an armed rampage in Nadi. Some 30 hardened criminals were believed to be behind a wave of robberies throughout the country. By the end of the month, the new government had the Fiji news media again in its sights.

  • POLITICS: THE EUROS VS FLOSSE WEBSITE FEUD
    Move.to.Tahiti: 1 August 1999 *Link
    A German couple, Erika and Achim Ginsberg-Klemmt, wage a "war" by fax, email and the Internet with the Flosse bureaucracy in Tahiti and local media over their European Union "civic right" to live there.
  • "Hysteria in the South Pacific"

  • MEDIA: FIJI TIMES DEFENDS AIR CRASH LO0TING REPORTS
    Pacific Media Watch: 29 July 1999 *Link
    The Fiji Times, the major daily newspaper in the Fiji Islands, has defended its reporting of looting in the face of public complaints over its graphic coverage of an Air Fiji crash on July 24 in which 17 people died.

  • EAST TIMOR: AUSTRALIA LIKELY TO BE CORE OF UN PEACEKEEPERS
    Inter Press Service: 29 July 1999
    By Sonny Inbaraj
    The United Nations, which has just delayed to August 30 the vote on East Timor's future, is expected to ask Australia to form the core of an armed UN peacekeeping force if the territory votes for independence from Indonesia.

  • POLITICS: RATU MARA DEFENDS FIJI ISLANDERS OF INDIAN DESCENT
    Pasifik Nius: 28 July 1999
    Fiji Islands President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who was accused of masterminding the coup which deposed the mixed ethnic government of Dr Timoci Bavadra, has criticised an international Pacific Island conference held in New Zealand for excluding Indo-Fijians. He defended people of Indian descent in Fiji, saying they were also "Pacific islanders".

  • MEDIA: PRESS GRAPPLES WITH MEDIA THUGGERY
    Inter Press Service: 28 July 1999
    By Johanna Son
    The Philippines and Thailand, which have had the strongest free press traditions in Southeast Asia, are now embroiled in their biggest challenges to independent media. Government officials no longer lock up journalists or shut down their papers - they employ goons, or get their cronies to take over ownership or pull out precious advertising revenue.

  • Daily Post
  • DISASTERS: PICTURES FROM THE CRASH SCENE IN THE NAMOSI HIGHLANDS
    Daily Post/Fijilive: 24-26 July 1999
    Tevita Rabonu's graphic photos for the Daily Post of the Air Fiji crash at the weekend. The pictures show the crash scene, villagers with ceremonial mats and the recovery of bodies by helicopter in Fiji's rugged Namosi Highlands, on the main island of Viti Levu. Fijilive Updates
  • DISASTERS: ANGRY FAMILIES BLAME POLICE
    Pasifik Nius/Fiji Times/Daily Post: 26 July 1999
    Staff Reporters
    Angry families of the 17 passengers killed in an Air Fiji plane crash have lashed out at police for taking so long to get to the crash site, according to the Fiji Times. And a Times editorial has called the reported looting "outrageous". Casualty list reported by Daily Post.

  • DISASTERS: SEVENTEEN KILLED IN FIJI'S WORST AIR CRASH
    Fiji's Daily Post/Fijilive: 25 July 1999
    Staff Reporters
    One of Fiji's leading garment manufacturers, Rajendra Solanki, and Nausori businessman Kuar Battan Singh are reportedly among the 17 people who have died in a plane crash in the Namosi Highlands. Eight foreigners were also on the Air Fiji Bandeirante aircraft bound for Nadi international airport which hit a rocky escarpment in low cloud before dawn on July 24. Fijilive Updates

  • POLITICS: RABUKA, PEACEMAKER, FACES TROUBLE AT HOME
    Gemini News Service: 23 July 1999
    By David Robie
    The man who brokered an end to the ethnic troubles in the Solomon Islands has won applause abroad, but brickbats at home. Sitiveni Rabuka is still haunted by his military coups of 12 years ago and, Gemini News Service reports, his appointment as peacemaker was controversial within the Commonwealth.

  • MEDIA: BATTLE RAGING IN THE PACIFIC
    The Dominion (NZ): 23 July 1999
    By David Robie
    The Fiji government's ousting of the Fiji television chief has sent shock waves throughout the Pacific. But in a surprise about face, New Zealander Ken Clark has been allowed to work pending a judicial review. Media hailed the reprieve.

  • HEALTH: COOK ISLANDS VILLAGER TACKLE DRUG PROBLEM
    Cook Islands News Online: 22 July 1999
    By Mona Matepi
    Over the next two weeks, community police will be putting in place a drugs and substance abuse educational strategy aptly named "outreach" which will appeal first to parents before targeting young people.

  • MEDIA: PACIFIC WEB TRAINING EXPANDS
    The Monitor: 20 July 1999
    By Anthony Mason
    The University of the South Pacific's journalism coordinator believes the influence of online media in the region is significant. In particular, he points to the Sandline mercenary crisis in Papua New Guinea and the recent election in Fiji as defining moments of the region's online media.

  • POLITICS: SAMOAN PM DENIES HE WAS ASSASSIN'S TARGET
    Pacific Islands Report: 20 July 1999
    Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has denied speculation he may have been the target of an assassination attempt which saw one his cabinet ministers gunned down. Public Works Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu was killed by a single bullet while attending a political function to celebrate the ruling Human Right Protection Party's 20th anniversary.

  • POLITICS: SAMOAN POLICE SEIZE VIDEO OF ASSASSINATION EVENT
    New Zealand Herald: 19 July 1999
    By Matthew Dearnaley and NZPA
    Samoan police have seized video footage of a political celebration at which a popular cabinet minister has been shot dead, but have not made an arrest.
    Man charged over the killing

  • POLITICS: SAMOAN ASSASSINATION EIGHTH IN THE PACIFIC
    Asia-Pacific Network: 19 July 1999 *Graphic
    By David Robie
    Samoan police are hunting for the assassin who gunned down Public Works Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu in a telephone ambush that has left Pacific leaders and politicians stunned. His was the eighth assassination in the region.

  • POLITICS: ASSASSIN GUNS DOWN SAMOAN MINISTER
    Pasifik Nius: 19 July 1999
    Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the fatal shooting of Public Works Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu should be left to the Government to fully investigate. In an address to the nation about the assassination, Tuilaepa said the country would be notified of the results of the investigation.

  • MEDIA: BAR ON FIJI'S TV CHIEF SENDS SHOCK WAVES
    Asia-Pacific Network: 18 July 1999
    By David Robie
    A Fiji government move to deny a newly appointed chief executive of Fiji Television, New Zealander Kenneth Clark, a work permit has been branded as "immoral" and "draconian" by media industry spokespeople.

  • MEDIA: FIJI TV 'DISMAYED' OVER BAR ON NEW BOSS
    Pacific Media Watch: 17 July 1999
    The board of Fiji TV Ltd has expressed dismay and other news media groups have protested over the Fiji Immigration Department's refusal to grant a work permit for the newly appointed chief executive of Fiji TV, New Zealander Kenneth Clark.

  • MEDIA: MALAYSIA'S NEW POLITICAL BATTLEFIELD
    Inter Press Service: 16 July 1999
    By Anil Netto
    The media are becoming an earlybattlefield in the fight between Malaysia's ruling coalition and the opposition ahead of the country's looming general election. Already, the opposition realises it will have to contend not only with the powerful machinery of the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, but the might of state agencies in the run-up to the poll expected in the next three months.

  • DISASTERS: PAPUA NEW GUINEA'S TSUNAMI ONE YEAR ON
    BBC World Service: 16 July 1999 *Link *Pictures
    By Michael Peschardt
    A year ago this weekend, one of the world's worst tidal waves - known as a tsunami - hit a series of villages in Papua New Guinea, killing about 3000 people. Although many of their homes have now been rebuilt, the surviving villagers are still coming to terms with the devastation.

  • MEDIA: PACIFIC MEDIA FENDS OFF ATTACK BY GOVERNMENTS
    Inter Press Service: 15 July 1999
    By Edmond Toka
    Media freedom in the South Pacific has come under heavy attack from governments in the region, in moves aimed at maintaining the interests of those at the helm of these island nations.

  • POLITICS: MORAUTA ELECTED PNG PM AFTER STUNNING POLITICAL SWITCH
    Sydney Morning Herald/AAP: 14 July 1999
    Sir Mekere Morauta has capped a dramatic political turnaround by being voted Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, and then telling MPs they had chosen order over chaos.

  • MERCENARIES: EXECUTIVE OUTCOMES ROLE IN INDONESIA EXPOSED
    Bushfire Media: 13 July 1999
    By Peter Cronau
    The former chief executive of the South African mercenary group, Executive Outcomes, has revealed that his company provided training and operational advice to the Indonesian special forces in an operation to rescue hostages held in West Papua (Irian Jaya) in 1996.

  • MEDIA: FREE PRESS IS A UNIVERSAL VALUE
    Fiji's Daily Post: 11 July 1999
    By David Robie
    Fiji's media freedom in general, and the Fiji Media Council, in particular - branded in June as a "toothless tiger" by Assistant Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, have been facing another hammering by government. A fresh perspective on the flaws of media, press councils and the contrasts between Fiji and Australia and New Zealand.

  • MEDIA: 'INDONESIAN PRESS LAW - WHO NEEDS IT?"
    Jakarta Post: 9 July 1999
    Editorial
    The press freedom Indonesia has enjoyed since the demise of Suharto's authoritarian regime in May last year is not founded upon any solid legal basis. It has flourished on the basis of the 1982 Press Law enacted to serve the interests of the old regime. The law is undemocratic and gives too much control to the government.

  • PNG: PRIME MINISTER BILL SKATE RESIGNS
    PNG Post-Courier: 8 July 1999 *Picture
    Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Bill Skate has resigned in the wake of a controversy over selling diplomatic recognition to Taiwan to prop up his country's ailing economy, and months of political turmoil with a no-confidence vote looming. But he says his stand down has nothing to do with the Taiwan loan affair. BBC Report *Picture

  • MEDIA: PORNOGRAPHY DEBATE HEATS UP IN INDONESIA
    Jakarta Post: 4 July 1999
    By Stevie Emilia et al
    A raging debate on flourishing erotic media in Indonesia has added fuel to public resentment over mounting unresolved national problems. Some government officials and youth groups are crusading to reverse the media "revolution".

  • SOLOMON ISLANDS: CPJ PROTESTS OVER MEDIA RESTRICTIONS
    Committee to Protect Journalists: 2 July 1999
    The Committee to Protect Journalists, in New York, has protested to the Solomon Islands government over its decision to impose draconian regulations governing all media coverage of the ethnic tensions there. The legislation threatens journalists who violate state-imposed reporting restrictions with up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to SI$5,000 (US$1,050), or both.

  • SOLOMON ISLANDS: MEDIA GAG FOLLOWS PEACE ACCORD
    The Australian: 30 June 1999
    By Mary-Louise O'Callaghan
    Tough new emergency restrictions have been placed on the media in the Solomon Islands following the signing of a peace accord aimed at paving the way for a resolution of the Guadalcanal crisis. The restrictions have forced the local Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation to drop its daily transmissions of BBC, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand International and other international news services.

  • FIJI: A POLITICAL DIARY ON CHAUDHRY'S NEW GOVERNMENT
    Pacific Islands Report: 30 June 1999
    By Sanjay Ramesh
    The Fiji government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has settled in well after the general election, despite the 50-man protest march at the end of May. Upgrading of health facilities has been a special target, but by the end of June the government was reeling over media and crime problems.

  • SOLOMON ISLANDS: RABUKA BROKERS PEACE AGREEMENT
    BBC World News: 28 June 1999
    A peace deal has been signed to end ethnic unrest in the Solomon Islands. Under the deal, negotiated by former Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, indigenous militant groups will dissolve.

  • EAST TIMOR: BALIBO WITNESS CRUCIAL TO ANY INQUIRY
    Sydney Morning Herald: 22 June 1999
    By Hamish McDonald
    The new witness who has come over from the pro-Indonesian side in East Timor to talk about the 1975 killing of the five Australian-based TV newsmen in East Timor is an important breakthrough in opening up an incident that has vexed Australia's relations with Indonesia for nearly a quarter of a century.

  • MEDIA: SOUTH PACIFIC NEWS MEDIA OVERVIEW
    World Association of Press Councils' Oceania conference: 22-23 June 1999
    By David Robie
    Evolving Press councils in two Pacific nations have made major contributions to notions of fairness, balance and accountability in the region, and the raising of professional standards. Journalism education is also of growing importance in the Pacific and a key foundation for media freedom.

  • MEDIA: CYBERSPACE MEDIA AND THE PACIFIC'S POLITICAL FRONTIER
    Asia-Pacific Network: 21 June and 1 July 1999
    By David Robie
    The 1997 Sandline mercenary crisis and the 1999 Fiji general election have been defining moments for South Pacific online journalism and the coverage of political events. The "coconut wireless" is giving way to the cyberspace kava bowl.

  • MEDIA: JOURNALISM COORDINATOR WINS APC FELLOWSHIP
    Fiji's Daily Post/Australian Press Council: 20 June 1999
    The Australian Press Council has awarded its 1999 Fellowship to David Robie, journalism educator and publisher of Café Pacific.

  • MEDIA: TESTING TIMES DOG FIJI'S NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT
    Asia-Pacific Network: 18 June 1999
    By David Robie
    Fiji's new Labour government has pledged an "open and free" press and a more transparent administration. But the early signs from Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's government are mixed and there are questions over the former Rabuka admininistration's proposed media legislation.

  • EAST TIMOR: ASIA-PACIFIC'S NEWEST RADIO OFFERS DREAM OF LIBERTY
    The Independent (UK): 17 June 1999
    By Richard Lloyd Parry
    Radio Unamet's job is too important for playfulness. To say the future of 800,000 people depends on its success is hardly an exaggeration. Unamet is the United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor, the newly established authority responsible for supervising a historic referendum in one of East Asia's most remote and troubled corners.

  • MEDIA: INDONESIAN GOVT SETS UP MEDIA CENTRE ON TIMOR
    Kompas: 15 June 1999
    By Richard Lloyd Parry
    The Indonesian government's Taskforce for Implementation of the Consultation in East Timor, in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Information, has set up a Media Centre to handle all information relating to the Consultation in East Timor. Human rights group TAPOL interprets it as a bid to control reporting in the run-up to the referendum.

  • MEDIA: IN SEARCH OF A REAL FREE PRESS
    Wansolwara: 9 June 1999
    By David Robie
    Australia's Centre for Democracy deputy director Dr Ian Ward portrayal of how routine "news packaging" practices and manipulation by spin doctors pose a challenge to real press freedom. And the implications of an ominous "vision of the future"for Fiji and the South Pacific.

  • Tupeni Baba
  • POLITICS: USP'S BABA BOWS OUT WITH ACADEMIC FREEDOM PLEA
    Wansolwara: 7 June 1999
    By Talei Tora
    One of Fiji's two new deputy prime ministers, Dr Tupeni Baba, has bowed out of academic life with a plea for the University of the South Pacific to defend its academic freedom.

  • MEDIA: INDONESIA'S PRESS STRIVES TO MAINTAIN ITS HARD-WON FREEDOM
    Committee to Protect Journalists: 3 June 1999
    On the eve of Indonesia's first free elections in more than a generation on June 7, government officials eagerly point to the country's open and virtually unfettered press as one of the major accomplishments of interim President B.J. Habibie's tenure. But the newly free media still face a range of threats.

  • POLITICS: ELECTION REBELS PLAN PROTEST
    Daily Post/FijiLive: 26 May 1999
    Several deposed cabinet ministers, parliamentarians and unsuccessful candidates in the Fiji Islands general election have been placed under strict surveillance. This surveillance order comes in the wake of intelligence reports that those not happy with the new Chaudhry Government are planning a "back to May 87" movement with massive demonstrations that could turn the country into what a Daily Post report describes as "a burning inferno on Saturday".

  • POLITICS: CHAUDHRY WAIVES LOAN REPAYMENTS OVER DROUGHT
    Sunday Post/FijiLive: 23 May 1999
    Cane farmers have lauded Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's decision to waive their loan repayments for the $41 million allocated for the crop rehabilitation programme. The CRP which was implemented last year to allow farmers to regain crops from the devastating effects of the droughts was funded by government and the Sugar Cane Growers Fund Authority.
    Fiji's new Labour-led cabinet

  • INDONESIA: MEDIA REVELS IN FIESTA OF DEMOCRACY
    Jakarta Post: 21 May 1999
    Along with the race to lure voters in this year's Indonesian general election, another fervent rivalry takes place on the sideline contesting the mass media covering the event. The daily Kompas and private stations SCTV and RCTI are among media with extensive coverage of the campaign.

  • Daily Post
  • POLITICS: FIJI'S ERA OF SOCIAL CHANGE SWEEPS LABOUR TO VICTORY
    Asia-Pacific Network: 17 May 1999
    By David Robie
    Labour, the key partner in Fiji's multiracial coalition government deposed at gunpoint by the Rabuka-led coup plotters almost 12 years ago to the day, has astutely pitched its campaign to the national mood for change to head for a landslide win. The victory is seen by many as the "politics of revenge", but is also seen as a reflection of constructive social policies.
    Election updates

  • POLITICS: RABUKA FACES LEGAL RISKS IF HE LOSES
    Daily Post/FijiLive: 6 May 1999
    Fiji's Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka must be returned to office to escape the likelihood of being prosecuted overseas on charges related to his two military coups in 1987, says a lawyer who is the author of a book about the coups. He said there are two possible charges against Rabuka - one of treason, and another of torture and kidnapping.

  • POLITICS: RABUKA NAMES FIVE RESPONSIBLE FOR COUPS
    FijiLive: 4 May 1999 *Pictures
    Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has named five prominent men as those he claims to have instigated the 1987 coup which ousted the Fiji Labour Party-led government at gunpoint. Two of the named men are now officials in parties campaigning in the elections against Rabuka and two are dead. The fifth man is currently Communications Minister.


    May 3 link to PNG Post-Courier

    World Media Freedom Day stories on Pacific Journalism Online

  • POLITICS: VOTE-SEEKING RABUKA APOLOGISES FOR COUPS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 1 May 1999 *Picture
    By David Robie
    The man who staged two military coups in Fiji during 1987 and turned the country into an international pariah has finally apologised for his actions 12 years later. With his eyes on retaining power in the first election under a new multiracial constitution, Sitiveni Rabuka has forged an alliance with a major Indo-Fijian opposition party.

  • EAST TIMOR: INTERPRETING FEAR IN THE DIRTY CONFLICT
    The Australian: 1 May 1999
    By Brian Woodley
    How an interpreter working for news media in East Timor faced an interrogation, beating and threats to his life by a group comprising militia men, the district military commander and an officer believed to be from Kopassus - Indonesia's special forces.

  • BALKANS: UNCLE SAM'S SECRET AGENDA
    Zmag: 29 April 1999
    By John Pilger
    The bombing in Serbia has nothing to do with a humanitarian concern for the suffering Kosovans. On the contrary, "the West'' (as the Anglo-American imperial forces are known) has consistently used humanitarian rhetoric to justify intervening in the Balkans, mostly on the side of regional power, often the Milosevic regime.

  • EAST TIMOR: OPEN LETTER ON THE TRAUMA OF STATE TERRORISM
    Asia-Pacific Network: 21 April 1999
    By Professor Antonio Barbedo de Magalhaes
    An analytical open letter from Professor Antonio Barbedo to the Indonesian personalities who participated in the meetings of the Hague and London on Indonesia, East Timor and the European Union.

  • MEDIA: PACIFIC GOVERNMENTS URGED TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
    Pacific Media Watch: 20 April 1999
    Regional participants at a Media Control and Ownership Consultation in Fiji have called on Pacific governments to protect freedom of expression, support community owned media and make the best use of new technologies. The consultation, sponsored by the World Association for Christian Communication - Pacific Region, was held in Nadi, 11-15 April 1999.

  • EAST TIMOR: ANXIOUS TIMORESE GRASP AT RUMOR AS NEWSPAPERS SHUT
    The Age (Melbourne): 19 April 1999
    By Jenny Grant
    East Timorese are relying on rumors and Indonesian state television reports from Jakarta to find out what is happening in their violent territory after both local newspapers have stopped printing. The offices of Novas and the Voice of East Timor newspapers now lie silent.

  • EAST TIMOR: COMMENTARY ON THE REIGN OF TERROR
    Asia-Pacific Network: 18 April 1999
    By Rob Wesley-Smith
    An outspoken aid worker says in a personal plea that Australia must respond with more than rebukes to the reign of terror - sponsored by the Indonesian Army - that grips East Timor. East Timorese in Australia and Timor, and large numbers of Australians, are dismayed at the weak response of the Australian government.

  • MEDIA: FRESH VOICES AND THE PACIFIC'S NEW CYBERSPACE MEDIA
    Asia-Pacific Network: 17 April 1999
    By David Robie
    In the so-called age of information, more and more of that information is useless in working out answers to global problems or searching for alternative economic and socio-political strategies more suited to living on a planet with finite resources. In the search for global and Pacific solutions, many journalists see the Web as a highway to issues journalism - instead of the stranglehold of mindless 'infotainment' offered by mega media owners.

  • Pacific Journalism Review
    Latest issue of PJR
  • MEDIA: PJR HIGHLIGHTS FIJI NEWSPAPER TAKEOVER
    Pacific Media Watch: 16 April 1999
    Fiji's government buyout of the Daily Post and attempts to take over the Post-Courier in Papua New Guinea by financial interests close to the Skate government have been highlighted in the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review. The 153-page issue of the regional publication, first to be published in Fiji, carries several articles debating the issue of the Post takeover so close to Fiji's general election in May.

  • HEALTH: CHURCH DOCTRINE BARRIER TO PACIFIC FIGHT AGAINST AIDS
    New Zealand Herald: 10 April 1999
    By Reuters
    Missionaries have historically led the fight against disease in the South Pacific where cultural taboos, particularly regarding sex, often hinder modern medicine. But today, churches are reluctant to become involved in the new medical battle because they fear being seen to promote adultery and homosexuality, both anathema to church doctrine.

  • MEDIA: FIJI GOVERNMENT'S BIZARRE PURCHASE SPARKS ELECTION FEAR
    The Independent (NZ): 7 April 1999 * Picture
    By David Robie
    As the May general election draws near, the cash-strapped Fiji Government has bought a controlling stake in a national newspaper. Democrats fear an attempt to muzzle Fiji's increasingly confident free press.

  • ECONOMICS: RESTRUCTURING FIJI'S PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
    Asia-Pacific Network: 4 April 1999
    By Ganesh Chand
    'The outcome of a user-pay system is that those who cannot afford to pay will have to either go without these services, or find other means of accessing them. These may include extra-legal means.'

  • HUMAN RIGHTS: NEW LAW PLAN ON AIDS IN PACIFIC
    Wansolwara: April 1999
    By Luisa Tora, Seni Nabou and Salesh Kumar
    Human rights lawyers are drafting proposed new legislation strategies for three South Pacific nations - Fiji, Kiribati and Tonga - to cope with the rise in HIV/AIDS in the region.

  • EDUCATION: BEHIND THE WAIGANI DEBACLE
    Wansolwara: April 1999
    By David Robie
    Looking at the big picture, the Waigani debacle is a deep disappointment for the many educators who have over the years contributed to the development of the University of Papua New Guinea, the "flagship" campus in a Pacific country which now boasts six universities.

  • EDUCATION: UNPOPULAR 'REFORM' FORCES UPNG INTO LAWSUITS, PROTESTS
    Wansolwara: April 1999 *Picture
    By Mathew Yakai
    The closure of the University of Papua New Guinea journalism school is just another episode in a restructuring upheaval which has led to the end of two faculties, affecting more than 700 students; the resignation of the vice-chancellor, protests by students and politicians; and legal action against the University Council.

  • POLITICS: I'M NOT 'KAMA SUTRA', SAYS RABUKA ON SEX
    Daily Post (Fiji): 2 April 1999
    By Mesake Koroi
    Fiji's Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has denied involvement in what is now commonly referred to as the "Kama Sutra" episode at the Fiji Golf Club at Vatuwaqa. He has hit out defiantly at the allegations of immorality against him during the May election campaign.
    Excerpts from Koroi's interview.

  • MEDIA: QUESTIONS OVER FIJI STATE BUY OUT OF DAILY POST
    The Review (Fiji): March 1999
    "What makes this purchase of the Daily Post even harder to swallow is that the newspaper has never made a profit since its first edition slid off the production line."

  • POLITICS: PRELUDE TO THE MAY 1999 FIJI GENERAL ELECTION
    Pacific Islands Report: 31 March 1999
    By Sanjay Ramesh
    While the National Federation Party and Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka's SVT have sorted out their alliance election differences, the coalition between the Fiji Labor Party, the Fijian Association Party and the Party of National Unity has been under threat of falling apart over allocation of candidates for the Ba open seats.

  • Sitiveni Rabuka
    Sitiveni Rabuka
  • POLITICS: FIJI'S PRIME MINISTER ON THE ELECTION
    The Review (Fiji): 23 March 1999 *Photograph
    By Matelita Rogogo
    Fiji's Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka heads into the May general election - his third since first coming to office - staking his political future on a new Constitution and a multiracial platform. Excerpts from the interview on the new Fijilive website published by The Review, Bula Networks and the Daily Post.

  • MEDIA: LARGEST PACIFIC WEBSITE CLAIMED
    Daily Post (Fiji): 23 March 1999
    By Rosi Tamani
    Fiji's The Review news magazine, Bula Network radio and the Daily Post newspaper feature in what is claimed is the largest website in the South Pacific. Launched by the Minister for Information and Communications, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Fijilive website provides a comprehensive database on Fiji and its South Pacific neighbours.

  • INDONESIA: TENSIONS HIGH ON AMBON
    World Socialist Web Site: 23 March 1999
    By Peter Symonds
    Tensions remain high on the Indonesian island of Ambon, after two months of clashes between armed Christian and Muslim gangs that have left at least 200 dead and many more injured, and devastated large sections of Ambon City and other areas.

  • EDUCATION: PRIME MINISTER SKATE INTERVENES - HE WANTS RESTRUCTURE SHELVED
    The Independent: 19 March 1999
    By Helen Rei
    Prime Minister Bill Skate has called for the restructure of the University of Papua New Guinea to be shelved. In a meeting with the members of the Student Representative Council, Mr Skate tells students to end their protest boycott of classes.

  • WEST PAPUA: PAPUAN REPRESENTATIVES DEMAND INDEPENDENCE
    Green-Left Weekly: 17 March 1999 *Photograph
    By Linda Kaucher
    One hundred West Papuan community representatives met with President Habibie, members of his cabinet and the head of Indonesian armed forces (ABRI) in West Papua, in Jakarta on February 26. At this historic dialogue, Amungme leader Tom Beanal read a statement, signed by all representatives, declaring that West Papuans want independence.

  • MEDIA: IS FREEDOM OF THE PACIFIC PRESS REALLY FREE?
    Pacific Journalism Review: Vol 5 No 1, March 1999/Fiji's Daily Post: 3 March 1999
    By Ingrid Leary
    Even if the Fiji Government upholds its promise to stay out of the Daily Post's day to day activities, as appears to be the case so far, the public can no longer have the same confidence in the impartiality of the newspaper after the state buy out. When it comes to "independence" two issues usually arise together: the need for independence and the need to be seen to be independent.

  • Maire Bopp
    Maire Bopp
  • MEDIA: FLOSSE APPEALS TRIBUNAL RULING LIFTING RADIO TEFANA BAN
    Pacific Journalism Review/Pacific Media Watch: 13 March1999
    By Maire Bopp
    French Polynesia's president Gaston Flosse has appealed against a decision by the territory's Administrative Tribunal in a bid to keep pro-independence journalists out of government press conferences.
  • DEVELOPMENT: YOUTH AND CRIME IN PNG - SOME TRENDS
    The Independent (PNG): 12 March 1999
    By William Liebert
    The law and order problem is still heavily identified with Papua New Guinea's youth - and especially "rascals". This is an injustice to the vast majority, who keep the law and are not part of the problem. A fresh perspective that also notes the affects of tribal conflict and corruption in high places.

  • DEVELOPMENT: WARNING OF DANGERS IN AID TO PNG
    The Age (Melbourne): 4 March 1999
    By Paul Daley
    The Australian Government fears friction over Australia's $300 million annual aid grant to Papua New Guinea could spark a serious diplomatic rift between the two countries, a secret Cabinet paper reveals. The Cabinet submission warns that PNG's "backsliding from ostensibly agreed positions" and economic in stability is a "constant risk" for Australia.

  • MEDIA: FIJI TV ROW OVER FORMER ARMY CHIEF INTERVIEW
    Pacific Media Watch: 3 March 1999
    By Irene Manueli
    The Fiji Prime Minister's Office has sought an explanation from Fiji Television after it screened a one-hour interview with former army commander and aspiring politician Ratu Epeli Ganilau. The Fiji Times has criticised the move.

  • MERCENARIES: AUSTRALIA ASKED TO PROTECT PNG ASSETS
    Pasifik Nius/Post-Courier: 1 March 1999
    Papua New Guinea has asked the Australian Government to help protect its assets in Australia from seizure by the British-based mercenary company Sandline International.

  • MERCENARIES: SKATE TO FIGHT 'BLOOD MONEY'
    The Australian: 26 February 1999
    By Mary Louise O'Callaghan
    Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has vowed to fight worldwide legal action seeking $US25 million ($39 million) from PNG, saying the British mercenary group Sandline International was holding the country to ransom for "blood money".

  • HEALTH: TAHITIAN YOUNG JOURNALIST WINS AWARD
    Pacific Journalism Online: 22 February 1999
    Maire Bopp, a final-year journalism student who used her media skills to share her personal experience to promote greater understanding of HIV/AIDS issues, has been recognised for her courage and commitment to regional journalism. She has been awarded the inaugural Storyboard Award and Daily Post Prize.
    Maire's story

  • MEDIA: DAILY POST SALE DEAL
    The Fiji Times/Pacific Journalism Online: 21 February 1999
    By John Kamea
    Fiji's Government takes a dramatic change of direction from its public asset selling policies to buy into an ailing but outspoken locally owned nedwspaper, The Daily Post, as elections loom.

  • MEDIA: ANTARA PROPAGANDA AND LINKS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 16 February 1999
    By Rob Wesley-Smith
    A "deported journalist", who is actually a non-government organisation researcher, describes his East Timor experience and highlights the "laughable" reporting of the Indonesian news agency Antara.

  • Daily Post
  • MEDIA: FIJI GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF DAILY POST STIRS ALARM
    Asia-Pacific Network: 16 February 1999
    By David Robie
    The Fiji Islands Government has bought a controlling interest in one of the country's two daily newspapers on the eve of a general election campaign, stirring protests over press freedom and privatisation policies.
  • POLITICS: A DRESS TURNS INTO A MATTRESS: MALAYSIA'S OWN MONICAGATE
    The Los Angeles Times: 14 February 1999
    By Robert A. Hooper
    In many ways, the trial of the Malaysia's popular former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is a bizarre echo of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair and the President's subsequent impeachment and trial on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges. Which raises a question: Is the resemblance between the mattress and Lewinsky's infamous navy-blue dress purely coincidental?

  • POLITICS: DICTATORSHIP POSSIBLE IN PNG?
    The Independent (PNG): 12 February 1999
    A "concerned reader" in the national churches-run weekly makes an impassioned case why Papua New Guinea could be ripe for dictatorship and suggests a possible scenario.

  • FORESTRY: CONTROL OF PNG'S LOG EXPORT INDUSTRY AT RISK
    The Independent (PNG): 12 February 1999
    By Abby Yadi and Rosalyn Albaniel
    Widespread transfer-pricing and species misdeclaration by log exporters could return if the log export monitoring contract is forced to be terminated at the end of next March, warn officials of the PNG Forest Authority. They say the recent lowering of the tax rates on log exports have added an incentive for malpractices.

  • MEDIA: COURT 'LOCKOUT' OVER ENGAN GOVERNOR'S CASE
    The National/Pasifik Nius: 12 February 1999
    Papua New Guinea say the controversial directive to lock media personnel out of a hearing on the charges of assault, insults and threats relating to Enga Governor Peter Ipatas came from both parties involved in the case.

  • EDUCATION: WAIKO PROPOSES ONE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY IN PNG
    The National/Pasifik Nius: 12 February 1999
    Papua New Guinea's Vice Minister for Science, Culture and Education, Dr John Waiko, plans to present a submission before the National Executive Council to have only one national university in the country, taking over the roles of the University of Technology, University of Vudal, University of Goroka and the University of PNG.

  • EDUCATION: CHALLENGE FOR JOURNALISM SCHOOL
    Liklik Diwai (PNG): 8 February 1999
    The Papua New Guinea Media Council wants to have computers donated to the University of PNG journalism program handed over to the Divine Word University after a "litany of broken promises" closed down journalism studies at UPNG.

  • Skate
  • CRIME: PNG CLEAN-UP 'TERROR' COSTS MILLIONS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 2 February 1999
    By David Robie
    The sacking of a high-profile "crime buster" and the scrapping of a special police task force which has been tackling Port Moresby's notorious problems has caused new shock waves for the Skate Government.
  • TOURISM: HELL IN THE PACIFIC - FIJI STYLE
    The Toronto Sunday Sun: 31 January 1999
    By Rob Granatstein
    Back in Mississauga, Canada, businessman Alan Goodman and his wife Tania recount to The Sunday Sun their recent "holiday from hell" in Fiji. Goodman was jailed by allegedly corrupt police officers, a story that made Fiji's front pages - with him labelled as the culprit. This article gives a different twist on the story from the Suva news media.

  • EDUCATION: THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TERTIARY EDUCATION IN PNG
    The Independent: 29 January 1999
    Editorial
    This week saw a double blow served by the two universities, University of Papua New Guinea announcing that it was forced to discontinue three faculties - Creative Arts, Media and Library Studies and the Allied Health Sciences. The next day Unitech in Lae announced that it would make cut backs at its campus too. These announcements less than a month before the academic year begins institutions is unforgivable.

  • EDUCATION: JOURNALISM PROGRAM CLOSURE 'A BETRAYAL'
    Asia-Pacific Network: 28 January 1999
    A former coordinator of the 23-year-old journalism program at the University of Papua New Guinea says the planned closure would be a betrayal of the future generation of journalists for the country. He blames the move on university politics and expediency.

  • EDUCATION: PMW ALERT ON THE SHUTDOWN OF THE PACIFIC'S PIONEERING J-SCHOOL
    Pacific Media Watch: 28 January 1999
    The pioneering journalism education and training program in the South Pacific, established 23 years ago at the University of Papua New Guinea, is closing, according to reports of a drastic cost-cutting regime at the university. The move has drawn strong public criticism.

  • JUSTICE: PNG POLITICAL SEX TAPES CASE WOMAN FREED
    The National/Pasifik Nius: 28 January 1999
    Ruth Konia
    The mother of two who was accused of being involved in a pornographic videotape with Western Highlands Governor Fr Robert Lak has been set free by Papua New Guinea's National Court. Her lawyer says that he will file damages claims against the State for the shame and humiliation his client suffered in this high-profile case.

  • Fiji floods
  • DISASTERS: FIJI'S SLOW RESPONSE TO FLASH FLOODS DRAWS CRITICISM
    Asia-Pacific Network: 23 January 1999
    Flash floods in the Fiji Islands have left at least seven people dead as Cyclone Dani struck Vanuatu and spared the Loyalty Islands. But as the Fiji Government pours more than $2 million into relief, newspapers and community leaders have begun asking hard questions about the slow response.
  • HUMAN RIGHTS: LOYALTY ISLANDS WOMEN WHIPPED OVER RELIGION
    Asia-Pacific Network/VagueInquietude: 23 January 1999
    By Jacques Boengkih
    Two women have been whipped in public in the village of Chepenehe on Lifou, in New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands, for being Jehovah Witnesses. They had defied being ordered into exile by their village.

  • POLITICS: SKATE DENIES SACKING POLICE NEMESIS IN PNG
    The Australian: 20 January 1999
    By Mary Louise O'Callaghan
    Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Bill Skate has denied being involved in the sacking of Port Moresby's police chief just hours after he had summoned Mr Skate for questioning. The high-profile city commander, John Wakon - who spearheaded re-opening of long-running cases and a special Police Task Force inquiry into a number of powerful people, mostly close associates of the Prime Minister - won an injunction against his removal.

  • MEDIA: 36 JOURNALISTS MURDERED IN 1998
    Internationale Medienhilfe (IMH): 20 January 1999
    Statistics compiled by Internationale Medienhilfe (International Media Help) cites 36 journalists as having been killed in 1998 for their beliefs or in the line of duty. Columbia and Russia retained their notoriety as top of the murders list. In the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines and Thailand were cited.

  • POLITICS: JAKARTA TO FREE XANANA FROM JAIL
    The Australian: 19 January 1999
    By Don Greenlees
    Indonesia is paving the way to transfer Xanana Gusmao out of Jakarta's Cipinang jail and place him under house arrest, in a significant concession to international demands the East Timorese resistence leader be immediately freed. The UN has backed placing Mr Gusmao under house arrest because it would allow him greater freedom to talk to supporters and foreign visitors over proposals by President B.J. Habibie to give East Timor wide-ranging autonomy.

  • JUSTICE: NO SAFE PLACE FOR PRISONERS IN VANUATU
    Asia-Pacific Network: 15 January 1999
    By Amnesty International
    Appalling conditions in Vanuatu's prison system were revealed during investigations by Amnesty International into allegations that dozens of prisoners were ill-treated during mass arrests of suspected rioters under a state of emergency in January 1998. In August 1998, a female prisoner was held for a month in a prison evacuated by all male prisoners because the building was considered "too dangerous".

  • MEDIA: FIJI TIMES AND JUDGE SLAM CHIEF MAGISTRATE
    Asia-Pacific Network: 14 January 1999
    The Fiji Times brands the nation's Chief Magistrate, Salesi Temo, a "shamed man" after a judge raps his conduct in a controversial corruption case as appalling and an attempt to mislead the court. The following day, widespread public condemnation calls for some action to restore confidence in the judiciary.

  • MEDIA: FIJI SUN QUEEN FIGHTS BANKRUPTCY
    Fiji's Daily Post/Agencies: 13 January 1999
    The Chinese multimillionaire who once owned the Fiji Sun - closed after the 1987 military coups - and Desai Bookshops is now reportedly fighting bankruptcy proceedings and allegations against her executives of phony circulation figures.

  • Post-Courier logo
  • MEDIA: POST-COURIER SHRUGS OFF 'BUY-OUT' CLAIMS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 11 January 1999
    By David Robie
    The PNG Post-Courier is one of the most influential and independent newspapers in the South Pacific. It has a long tradition of vigorous and outspoken reporting and recent rumours of it likely to be sold to business and political interests close to Prime Minister Bill Skate have been denied.
  • KANAKY: FIRE DESTROYS ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST'S HOME
    Asia-Pacific Network: 4 January 1999
    By Jacques Boengkih
    Fire has destroyed the home of a prominent environmental activist in New Caledonia, prompting speculation over a controversial real estate court case Bruno van Peteghem had filed against powerful personalities.

  • MERCENARIES: EXECUTIVE DOGS OF WAR HAVE HAD THEIR DAY
    Asia-Pacific Network: 3 January 1999
    By Anton La Guardia
    Executive Outcomes, the South African mercenary company involved in conflicts from Sierra Leone to Papua New Guinea, was reportedly closing at the end of 1998. The company was at the heart of the Sandline affair and has recently successfully sued the PNG Government over compensation for part of its aborted operations.

  • FORESTRY: ASIAN LOGGERS 'LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK'
    Asia-Pacific Network: 2 January 1999
    By David Robie
    Greenpeace Pacific forests specialist Brian Brunton brands the recent lifting of logging export taxes in Papua New Guinea as "scandalous" and his damning paper about the loss of the country's forests was gagged at a regional seminar. Newspapers say Asian loggers are now "laughing all the way to the bank".

  • HEALTH: A TAHITIAN STUDENT JOURNALIST'S AIDS MESSAGE
    Asia-Pacific Network: 2 January 1999
    By Maire Bopp
    A young Tahitian woman who is a final-year journalism student at the University of the South Pacific has made an admission at a media conference that brings home the terrible message of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the South Pacific region. She appeals to the media to play a more active role in promoting greater public awareness.
    French language version (2 January 1999)

  • MEDIA: INTERNET ROW OVER NEWSPAPER'S REPORTING STYLE
    Misanet: 2 January 1999
    By Douglas Hampande
    Zambia's The Post has long had an outspoken presence on the Internet and its reports have troubled authorities. Now the state-controlled Daily Mail challenges its independent rival's cyberspace view of events in Zambia.

  • DEVELOPMENT: NEW CALEDONIA ADOPTS ECONOMIC RESCUE BUDGET
    Asia-Pacific Network: 1 January 1999
    By Jacques Boengkih
    A new Budget for 1999 has been adopted in New Caledonia which aims to rescue Air Caledonie International and boost the nickel mining industry.


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