Fijians shot dead in Pacific waters?

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An update on this story is HERE.

Killing waters

A gruesome video emerging on Youtube purports to be showing Fijians shot cold in the water at sea.

The video posting also states that the incident happened in the waters off Fiji.

The time of the incident is not known.

The 10-minute video shows up to four men being shot and killed while adrift next to debris in the open seas.

Two men are shown desperately trying to escape the spray of gunfire. Both are killed. One is killed at close range.

So far, the only thing Fijian in the video, are the claims by the Youtube post.

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) reports that Fiji Police are investigating the claims in the video. Nothing else in the video is definite to being Fijian as yet.

According to FBC, one of the boats is a Taiwanese long liner in pursuit of another two vessels. Heavy fire is clearly heard.

Liveleaks reports that the men filming and the crew of the deck from which the fires were shot, were speaking Burmese and Thai.

TVNZ reports the Youtube post was uploaded from Suva.

Analysis

There is a danger in speculation regarding the contents of the video.

The obvious implication is that of the South Pacific waters are no longer free of killings and violence.

Most reports surfacing imply this has something to do with competition for the South Pacific’s tuna stocks. With that subtle direction, it seems from the suggestions that the Asian fishing powers are engaged in armed competition in the South Pacific.

This is implied by the sighting of a Taiwanese fishing vessel in the video, the audible heavy gunfire involved, and the rattling (possibly AK47) submachine gun in the background of the filming deck used for the killing.

The obvious solution would be to bring in greater firepower, which calls for even greater militarization of the region. This might not be in the best interests of the Pacific islands states.

With media reports and the video going viral on the Internet, there is a huge risk that the suspicion might become reality, and the facts of the case be completely discarded.

However, there are many vast waterways with this sort of problem. The pursuit of vessels by armed fishing vessels, and the massacring of life at sea point to clashes with pirates in the high seas.

There has been no incident in the South Pacific of this sort.

However, armed pirates are commonplace in the South China Sea, the narrow straits of the Indonesian archipelago, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal.

Incidents like that in the video could easily have come from those area.

In any case, the allegation that the individuals killed in the video are Fijians, will have to be verified, or if the incident did happen around Fijian waters.

The issue of Pacific maritime security is being projected as increasingly volatile. It may not be so.

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