16 Apr 2009

Fiji loosens foreign media ban

1:36 pm on 16 April 2009

Fiji's Government says foreign media representatives are most welcome to visit Fiji under the current public emergency regulations.

The government spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says the government has not stopped foreign media representatives prior to the emergency regulations and even under the current circumstances.

The announcement comes a day after interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama told Radio New Zealand all foreign media inquiries should be directed through him.

He says it is important for foreign media to understand Fiji's situation and to report accurately and responsibly.

Major Leweni says it is also important for the foreign media to come and see for themselves that life in the country is moving on as normal.

The current procedure is that foreign media representatives apply firstly to the Permanent Secretary for Information specifically stating the reason and the dates of their visit.

The Permanent Secretary will endorse the applications based on how they have reported about Fiji in the past.

Major Leweni said it is the current practice in any other country that foreign journalists who breach their visa conditions are asked to leave the country.