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The Commodore speaks out -

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PETER CAVE: Fiji's military dictator Frank Bainimarama says his country's future will be decided by
Fijians and Fijians alone.

Commodore Bainimarama and the main spokesman for the interim government Major Neumi Leweni have
gone on the radio in New Zealand to defend their actions in imposing emergency rule.

Both deny any critics of the regime have been detained.

That's something that Mr Naidu might dispute.

This morning, a journalist with Fiji television was released after spending 36 hours in custody,
for reporting on the country's political situation. The military has also closed down FM stations
in Suva and Nadi which relayed Radio Australia Broadcasts.

They've disrupted internet connections and the Fiji dollar has also been devalued by 25 per cent.

Our New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie reports.

KERRI RITCHIE: Commodore Frank Bainimarama and Major Neumi Leweni are two men firmly in control of
Fiji and facing plenty of criticism for it.

Separately, they went on Radio New Zealand this morning.

Commodore Bainimarama phoned in, and then wanted to approve the questions.

FRANK BAINIMARAMA: Good morning, is this Sean?

SEAN PLUNKET: Yes this is Sean Plunket from Radio New Zealand here. Look, we understand you want to
understand the line of questioning we want to take?

KERRI RITCHIE: Frank Bainimarama says Fiji must move away from its old system of race-based voting.

The Commodore says a recent survey of Fijians showed 64 per cent want electoral reform.

He believes the Court of Appeal judges who ruled his interim government was illegal, came with
their own agenda.

FRANK BAINIMARAMA: It was interesting to all of that watched the judgement that the judges could
come up with a 52 page judgement in 24 hours. I asked around and most of the people who are
familiar with that type of judgement said that it is obvious that they made that decision long
before they got to Fiji.

KERRI RITCHIE: Major Leweni is the main spokesman for the interim government.

For someone who's the head of an information ministry, he wasn't too keen on providing information
to Radio New Zealand.

SEAN PLUNKET: How are Fijians supposed to know what is going in their country if journalists can't
freely write about that?

NEUMI LEWENI: That's the law that's in the Public Emergency Regulations and that's it.

KERRI RITCHIE: Major Leweni says life in Fiji is normal.

NEUMI LEWENI: And there's no detaining of people unnecessarily as you are implying.

SEAN PLUNKET: How many people have you detained at present?


KERRI RITCHIE: Frank Bainimarama also said no-one had been imprisoned for speaking out.

Edwin Nand, a journalist with Fiji TV, was released from custody this morning.

He was arrested by police after he read the seven o'clock news on Monday night.

Tanya Waqanika is Fiji TV's lawyer.

TANYA WAQANIKA: I can confirm that I picked him up, he's safe and sound and he's at home. He's in
good spirits.

KERRI RITCHIE: Was he charged with anything?

TANYA WAQANIKA: No. He was not charged.

What reason did the police give for taking him into custody?

TANYA WAQANIKA: They cited a certain clause but he had breached the clause from Public Emergency
Regulations section 16.

KERRI RITCHIE: Will Fiji TV have a bulletin on the air tonight?

TANYA WAQANIKA: We've been running the six o'clock news, as far as we're concerned it's business as

KERRI RITCHIE: Can you include political stories in that bulletin?

TANYA WAQANIKA: I can't comment on that. We've all been told, I mean received a letter that we
cannot make comments, any political comments or publish or broadcast any political comments.

KERRI RITCHIE: The President of Fiji's Law Society Dorsami Naidu also spent the night in jail he
believes he's being punishment for speaking to the media.

Yesterday soldiers took over the Reserve Bank in Fiji.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says that action could have dire consequences for Fijians.

JOHN KEY: I don't know him personally but my understanding was that the Governor of the Reserve
Bank was very highly thought of. They clearly have some exchange risks now and that is one of the
serious issues that their economy is facing but not the only one.

It's hard to see that there will be any serious inbound investment in Fiji. We know tourism numbers
are falling and I think, as I've said in the past, I think Frank Bainimarama is effectively
delivering Fiji a passport to poverty.

KERRI RITCHIE: But on radio this morning, Commodore Frank Bainimarama maintained his end goal
wasn't power - it was about making Fiji a better place.

This is Kerri Ritchie in Auckland reporting for The World Today.