24 May 2012

Fiji Labour leader labels Fiji Sun newspaper as regime puppet

2:47 pm on 24 May 2012

The leader of the Fiji Labour Party Mahendra Chaudhry says the Fiji Sun newspaper has become a puppet of the interim government and abandoned basic media ethics.

On May 15th the newpaper published an article based on comments from the Ministry of Sugar's Manasa Vaniqi that criticised Mr Chaudhry's complaints about the state of the sugar industry.

Mr Chaudhry, who is the National Farmers Union general secretary, says he then sent a statement to the newspaper in response but it was not published.

This week, the Fiji Sun published another article that stemmed from a statement by the Ministry of Sugar, again criticising Mr Chaudhry.

"That is not the only instance in the past few months. It has been the same story, there has been absolute bias on behalf of that newspaper, in fact it's a puppet of the regime, people know it."

Mahendra Chaudhry says the sugar industry has been declining rapidly in the last three years, and says when the regime took over it dismantled key industry institutions in which farmers were represented.