"Today it was claimed that ONE News showed tanks on Suva street and images of children eating grass. This never happened and we did no such thing. Look at the footage that disproves Bainimarama's claims." TVNZ
In terms of the tanks accusation, TVNZ says it cannot find any instance where pictures of tanks from foreign sources have been put into stories on Fiji.
"Prime Minister [John Key], let me also confront head on the issue of media freedom and more particularly, the right of access to Fiji by certain of your journalists. No-one who reports on events in Fiji fairly and in a balanced manner is excluded...But we cannot allow the willful propagation of false information that damages the national interest and undermines our vulnerable economy. And that is what has happened in the case of certain New Zealand journalists... New Zealand television ran footage of tanks in the streets of Suva when our military does not own any tanks. They had been interposed from other sources. A claim was made that Fijian children were starving and were eating grass. These are egregious examples of willful bias and misreporting... And we are saying to the news organisations that employ them: send someone else. Someone who respects the facts and the right of people to know the truth. Not some twisted concoction." -
"This is an absolute nonsense. I did a story [in 2008] shortly before I was banned about how times were tough in one of the villages – the children had been told by their teachers to help pull out the grass with their hands as they couldn’t afford fuel for their motor mower. We even showed them putting the grass in the rubbish bin – not their tummies." -
Dreaver said she has previously addressed this matter with the Fiji Government. In May 2014 she wrote an email to its Communications Manager Sharon Smith-Johns and included a copy of her script and background material.
BASICALLY, TVNZ is claiming that Bainimarama LIED in his speech during the banquet welcoming Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand.
'Reputational Damage' to Reddy but does that apply to Barbara Dreaver?
"Barbara Dreaver is a highly respected journalist. She’s covered the region for 20 years and I can’t think of a journalist who knows it better. She should be immediately removed from the Fiji Government’s blacklist so she can do her job as our Pacific correspondent." TVNZ's Head of News and Current Affairs, John Gillespie
Click link below to see the whole video and TVNZ story :
Fijileaks: We have not been able to locate any story or photo about tanks on the streets of Fiji. The closest match of the mention of tanks is an ABC news item from 1 December 2006 when the 'raging military bull' was threatening to takeover the Laisenia Qarase multi-party government by 5 December 2006: 'We don't see road blocks, there are not tanks in the street, nor are there hundreds of troops in the streets...I've been to the military headquarters, the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Government House, and the Parliament, and it's all pretty normal, on the face of it. But everyone is, sort of, quite apprehensive about what's going to happen.'
“At the end of the day, I will stick by my men, by the police officers or anyone else that might be named in this investigation. We cannot discard them just because they’ve done their duty in looking after the security of this nation and making sure we sleep peacefully at night.” - Frank Bainimarama reacting to the video which captured the sexual assault and brutal beating of Iowane Benedito in 2012