22 Sep 2016

Permit given for Fiji sugar industry meeting

4:11 pm on 22 September 2016

A meeting about Fiji's sugar industry which was shut down by police two weeks ago will now go ahead next week.

Police stopped the meeting as the non-government organisation Dialogue Fiji had no permit to hold the event.

Dialogue Fiji said it had now received a permit from the police and would hold a three-day forum on the industry next week.

But the general secretary of Fiji's Council of Trade Unions Attar Singh said the conditions of the permit will make it difficult for speakers to discuss issues freely.

"In the permit to meet the rules say discussions must not be defamatory, it must not be inciteful and it must not be provocative. Now I can't understand how discussions on an issue that touches around 200,000 people can not be provocative and interesting."

Attar Singh said the government was trying to thwart discussions on the sugar industry.

The damaged sugar mill at Rakiraki.

The damaged sugar mill at Rakiraki. Photo: RNZ / Juliette Sivertsen