4 Dec 2014

Fiji Govt's use of PR company queried

9:11 pm on 4 December 2014

An opposition MP in Fiji has questioned the government about it hiring an American public relations company for half a million US dollars a year.

According to Fiji Village reports, Kiniviliama Kiliraki asked in parliament why the government was paying Qorvis Communications such a sum and whether a local company could have done the work.

Qorvis represents a range of firms, such as Halliburton, and the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sri Lanka.

Replying to the question, the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said no local company could carry out the work and that Qorvis was hired to counter the negative publicity that was propagated against Fiji.

He said many regional media organisations, whether in New Zealand or Australia, had only one side of the story to tell, using images of soldiers on the streets with guns, which he says was not an accurate image.

In 2009, the Fiji regime imposed media censorship, which was lifted in 2012 and replaced with a controversial media decree.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji's Attorney-General

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji's Attorney-General Photo: RNZ / Republika