9 Jun 2009

Fiji conference speakers withdraw amid police threats

3:24 pm on 9 June 2009

Three men who were invited to speak at Fiji's Institute of Accountants Congress have decided to withdraw after the police threatened the organisers with revoking the licence for the meeting.

The academic, Dr Brij Lal, former Fiji Law Society President, Graham Leung, and lawyer, Richard Naidu, were due to speak at the Nadi conference, which is to start on Friday.

But Mr Leung says the police did not want their presence at the conference.

"Fellow speaker, professor Brij Lal, told me that the organisers had received a call from police that if the names of professor Brij Lal, myself and Richard Naidu were not removed from the list of speakers at the accountants congress, the police would revoke the permit. The speakers have decided to step back, we certainly don't want to jeopardise the holding of the conference."

Graham Leung says they were not given a reason why they shouldn't speak.

Fiji's regime has imposed emergency rule and governs by decree while saying that existing laws remain in force.