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Calls military decree ‘of utmost concern’

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 12, 2010) – The newly formed Pacific Media Association says it is not [meant to be] a replacement for the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).

The Pacific Media Association (PMA) is made up of former PINA members who were unhappy with PINA's refusal to sanction Fiji over its controversial media decree.

The new association says the lack of action by PINA is a direct threat to media freedom in the Pacific region.

[PIR editor’s note: A statement released by the new Pacific Media Association (PMA) says: "The association finds censorship of the media to be unacceptable, and we view the situation in Fiji to be of utmost concern." The long-established Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) is based in Suva, Fiji, and has been under the blanket restrictions recently imposed on the country’s media by military decree. PINA chairman Moses Stevens has defended the organization’s understated posture, saying, "…the government in Fiji is not a normal democratic government that’s in place. It’s a military regime and we cannot deal with the situation as we would deal with a normal democratically elected government."]

Spokesman Savea Sano Malifa told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat they want to provide an alternative to PINA, not replace it.

"We are not doing anything against PINA, it can operate as it is today," he said. "Our organisation is a separate organisation formed because we believe PINA is not doing what it is supposed to be doing."

[PIR editor’s note:

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