17 Aug 2009

Fiji Methodists confident over talks with government on indoor event

2:09 pm on 17 August 2009

Fiji's Methodist Church is confident the interim government will meet with it to discuss the chance of obtaining a permit to hold public meetings despite being restricted to indoor events.

The church has been allowed to hold its annual choir competition in Suva this week, but it has been prohibited from holding it outdoors.

Its Deputy General Secretary Tevita Nawadra says the regime has not justified the restriction but he believes the government views the large crowd of participants as a possible disturbance or a political threat.

He says the church is keen to further discuss the matter with the government in the hope it will lift the ban.

"From what we've gathered, they are open for that when we finish these meetings. We have been given some permission to hold some type of conference but excluding people who are very, very special to conference, like president and general secretary."

Tevita Nawadra says about 12,000 people are expected to attend this week's festival.