14 Aug 2002

Fiji government draughting regulations to govern NGOs and civil society groups

9:52 am on 14 August 2002

The Fiji government is preparing a paper to regulate NGOs and civil society groups in the country.

Radio Fiji says the government believes NGOs must be made more accountable and not work towards destabilising the country.

It quotes the attorney-general, Qorinaisi Bale, as saying NGOs must be subject to a system formulated by the government and denies the move is designed to eliminate civil society groups.

Mr Bale syas the government must know why NGOs exist, who they represent and the sources of their funds, to bring about greater accountability and transparency.

The attorney-general says there are civil organisations in some countries whose motives are to destabilise the government.

He says there is also a risk that some NGOs may be sponsored by the Mafia and terrorist groups.

Last year, the then interim administration cancelled the registration of the Citizen's Constitutional Forum after it mounted a series of high profile legal challenges against the administration.