9 Jan 2012

Fiji meetings still require police permit

11:13 am on 9 January 2012

Fijis' regime says with the Public Emergency Regulations lifted - public meetings and processions will still need a permit.

The Public Emergency Regulations were lifted on Saturday, followed by the strengthening of the Public Order Act

FBC news reports the government has issued an advisory for members of the public to be aware that all gatherings in public places will need a permit from police.

The advisory also says all the gatherings must be in accordance with the conditions set out in the permit.

Meanwhile Fiji's Attorney General says modernising the Public Order Act will ensure a stable and peaceful society and is a positive step towards democracy.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they just want to prevent a situation, like the 2000 coup, ever happening again.

"You saw what happened in Fiji in 2000. You had the then Prime Minister and his members of cabinet held captive for 56 days, holding the country to ransom. The streets of Suva were looted and ransacked. There was no legal provision to prevent that type of scenario and all we are saying is that in order to have democratic elections, we need to be able to truly be able to express our views, not under the fear of having extremist elements."