This is a transcript extract of an interview conducted by ABC’s Bruce Hill with Fiji Military Forces spokesman Major Neumi Leweni.
HILL: Sources in Fiji say the military are trying to get Fintel, the Telekom’s company to shut down all access to sites hosted by one of the most popular blogging companies, Blog Spot. Fintel has so far not commented publicly about the issue. But military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni has confirmed they are intensifying their hunt for the bloggers and that questioning Ulai Taoi a second time was justified by new evidence.
LEWENI: Yes, we did bring in Taoi today, just to show him the emails that he had been sending around.
HILL: What was the content of those emails?
LEWENI: Well, it is to do with some information that we believe was part of some bloggers.
HILL: So, when he denies being that blogger Fijian Black, you don’t believe him?
LEWENI: Well, this is evidence that we’ve got and we believe he had something to do with it.
HILL: And, is there any truth to the reports that the army is preparing to round up another 20 people on suspicion of being bloggers?
LEWENI: There are investigations ongoing, but I couldn’t confirm to you the number of people.
HILL: You said to me a week or so ago, that these bloggers were inconsequential and people shouldn’t pay any attention to them and the army wasn’t to fussed about it?
LEWENI: Yes I did, I did. But now evidence have pointed to people, so that’s an issue that we’ll need to address. Because it’s a form of media that’s been used and of course there are rules and laws on how you use this media tool, so that’s what we’re looking at.
HILL: By launching these manhunts for these bloggers, aren’t you just drawing attention to them? If you just ignored them, may be they wouldn’t have been?
LEWENI: Eh yes, like I said, initially we did say that, but now that identities have revealed some people, so that’s another matter now and when you actually know some people that do it.
HILL: What’s so wrong about it? They’re just engaging in some free speech, which is protected by the Fiji Constitution?
LEWENI: What paid to go around and saying bad things about people and speculating? To you that’s right? If that’s right, then I don’t think we should continue this conversation, bye.
So for you blogging cheerleaders of the Fijian Military Dictatorship go ahead, defend this. Talk more crap. A little more at this stage wont make any difference and I can’t wait to see how you explain it when we progress to people simply dissapearing or hidden graves in the jungle, some over fed sharks perhaps.
At least in New Zealand Helen Clark can only use the title “blogger” as a slur, not an excuse to have the ARMY drag people away. Yeah at what point did we suddenly just accept the the Fijian army had any legal responsiblity for law enforcement. And there just arent sneer quotes bing enough for that phrase.