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Friday, March 07, 2008

PINA President says they will not petition Fiji's removal from RAMSI

The Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) will not petition the Australian government to remove Fiji from participating in the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) as suggested by a group of Pacific journalists.

President Joseph Ealedona says the removal of Fiji from RAMSI is an issue for regional governments.

PINA is to raise its concerns relating to media freedom and freedom of expression.

Mr Ealedona’s comments followed a front page story in The National indicating the PINA president would present a petition to Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd to remove Fiji from Ramsi. Mr Rudd is currently touring PNG.

“I have formally requested an audience with the Australian prime minister through the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby but it’ll depend on Mr Rudd’s timetable,” Mr Ealedona said.

The PINA president says letters of concern are also being sent to the governments of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand to put pressure on the interim Fiji government to change its hard-line stance against media freedom in Fiji.

“PINA has also written to the Fiji government stating its concern on the deportation of Fiji Sun editor-in-Chief Russell Hunter and has requested that Mr Hunter be allowed back into Fiji.”

Mr Ealedona has at the same time urged the media in the region to approach the matter sensibly and use it as a stepping stone to an all-out effort to strengthen and advocate for a free media that is objective and responsible to the people of the region.

Source:The National

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