7 Apr 2010

Fiji media decree discussions about to begin

7:43 am on 7 April 2010

Discussions over Fiji's proposed media decree are finally due to get underway today after delays to consultations due to Cyclone Tomas.

But disquiet has emerged after it became clear interested parties would only have the draft for two and a half hours before the first meeting in Suva.

Comments from the Fiji Times Managing Director, Anne Fussell, calling for more time to study the draft and raising the possibility that the decree might impact potential investment prompted a quick response from the interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

His concerns were aired on Fiji Television's news bulletin:

"This is a media organisation that does not recognise the government, that does not call the Prime Minister the Prime Minister, does not recognise various other members of the government, yet we find suddenly they are worried about the economy and trying to link economy with the decree."

The interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum

The International Union of Journalists has already said most democratic countries would set aside six to eight weeks for people to study the draft and make submissions.