14 Mar 2005

Fiji's CCF to fight any attempt to suppress non-government organisations

8:26 pm on 14 March 2005

The Citizens' Constitutional Forum, or CCF, in Fiji says it will fight any attempt by the government to deregister non-government organisations or suppress them in any way.

The CCF's Jone Dakuvula, says their organisation was deregistered and they then formed a limited liability non-profit company.

He made the comments after the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, said NGOs should de-register themselves because they had adopted an anti-government stance and were taking on the role of political parties.

Mr Dakuvula says the prime minister also talked about amending the legislation covering the NGOs but he doesn't know why he brought that up.

"He seems to be saying it in a sinister way as a threat. In fact, the idea of reviewing the laws, the charity laws of this country comes out of non-government organisations. We've been liaising with, and discussing with, the Attorney-General's office, the need to have better legislation."

Mr Dakuvula says they will continue their work and continue to speak out when needed because they have a right to do so under the constitution.