15 Apr 2009

Fiji interim regime cuts FM rebroadcasts of Radio Australia

3:32 pm on 15 April 2009

Fiji's interim government has ordered the shutdown of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio transmitters in Fiji which are operated by the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.

Fiji technicians were ordered to close down the two FM relay stations in the capital Suva and in Nadi.

The shutdown also affects Radio New Zealand International whose weekday current affairs programme Dateline Pacific is rebroadcast by Radio Australia.

The CEO of Fiji Broadcasting, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the transmitters were switched off today.

"We, at FBC Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited, facilitate Radio Australia's transmissions in Fiji and were asked this morning by the Ministry of Information to switch off the transmission for Radio Australia whose equipment is housed on our sites in the west and just outside Suva."

The rebroadcast of Radio France International has not been cut.

Radio Australia is still broadcasting to Fiji on short wave as is Radio New Zealand International.

The curbs come amid reports by blog websites carrying news from Fiji that say internet cafe owners have been told to shut down while their business permits, internet networks, software, technology and archives are investigated and approved by government officials.