24 Apr 2009

PINA chief says it is important to stay in Fiji despite pressure from regime

6:23 pm on 24 April 2009

The President of the Pacific Islands News Association, PINA, Joseph Ealedona, of Papua New Guinea's state broadcaster, the NBC, says it very important that the regional body stays in Fiji despite the censorship applied by the Fiji military led government.

Last week PINA's regional news agency, PACNEWS, was stopped from running stories on the political situation in Fiji by the intimidating tactics of the regime.

PINA wants Pacific countries to make a strong regional stand on what it calls the ongoing flagrant abuse of democratic rights in Fiji.

Mr Ealedona says PINA will consider moving out of Fiji at its July conference, but he says it is important for the Fiji media that it stays.

"I think it is very important that PINA remains there and does not show to the interim regime that we are running away. The media in Fiji needs PINA there. As far as the situation continues like that we will remain there."