14 Sep 2007

Fiji NGO rejects regime criticism

3:57 pm on 14 September 2007

A Fiji NGO, the Pacific Centre for Public Integrity says it has every right to speak out on issues of governance and it rejects criticism of its activities from the interim government.

The interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama says activists like the PCPI's executive director, Angie Heffernan, and others, such as Shamima Ali, should stop criticising the decision to reinvoke the Public Emergency Regulations.

But Angie Heffernan says the PCPI is only carrying out its mandate as a watchdog on the state and this includes the unelected, self-imposed Bainimarama military government.

She says rather than criticise groups like PCPI, Commodore Bainimarama should be making every effort to return the country to parliamentary democracy.

Ms Heffernan says NGOs like the PCPI should have every right to publicly address issues that directly affect the governance of Fiji, particularly when it relates to measures that infringe on citizens' rights and freedoms.