Friday, 15 January 2010 5:00 AM

Civil Servants Suspected of Blogging in Fiji could Lose Jobs

The current Fiji government is investigating some of its civil servants for contributing to anti-government blogging sites.

According to the Fiji Sun Online, public officers suspected of anti-Government activities could lose their jobs if they are found guilty of posting remarks on internet blog-sites.

The issue of blogging increased in Fiji after the 2006 coup in which the military overthrew the government of the day and the new military-led regime censored the country's media.
The regime posted censors in newsrooms all over the country to ensure that all stories ran by news agencies were not anti-government. The regime said that this was done to ensure there was not threat to national security.
However, concerns have been raised that the regime was only allowing reports that were in favour of it and even blocking out the true issues the country was facing. As a result many blog sites came into existence to reveal the "true" issues in the country.

According to the report by the Fiji Sun, an investigation is underway for posting cyber comments against the Government with the Prime Minister's Office issuing 'a directive for Suva City Council Special Administrator Marica Hallacy, singling out some council staff members who are allegedly involved in anti-Government activities'.

The document suggested to Ms Hallacy that investigations have revealed the 12 staff members were allegedly engaged in computer activities that were anti-Government.

According to the report, the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Pio Tikoduadua, signed the directive and suggested to the Suva City Administrator that they cannot have people who are against Government working for it.

"There is evidence to suggest that these people were involved in blogging," Mr Tikoduadua said

It is alleged that the group were posting anti-Government comments on blog spots on the internet.

"They are accused of participating in blogging activities during working hours. This was a blatant misuse of ratepayers' money and resources that should be used for work."

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