A Fiji NGO is renewing a call for the public emergency regulations to be lifted in view of what it describes as ethno-racist debate over a former army officer who's escaped to Tonga.
Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara fled Fiji last month after being charged with sedition and has since been making statements highly critical of the regime of which he was a part.
The Citizens Constitutional Forum's chief executive, Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says it's very concerned that people are turning to hate-fuelled, racist sentiments in their online debate of the situation.
"The people, whoever they are, we don't know them, they are anonymous authors or players who have gone down that road. That's why we're making this statement because it's developing again into a situation we fear could be a repeat of you know of the kind of rhetoric that was at play way back in 2000 and even beyond."
Reverend Akuila Yabaki says lifting the emergency regulations will facilitate healthy debate over Fiji's future.