Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho has made it clear that Dialogue Fiji needs to have a permit to hold it’s meeting as this is a requirement under the law.
Qiliho says the law has to be followed.
The Public Order Act states that permits are required for meetings and processions in a public place.
The act states that any person who wishes to organize or convene a meeting or procession in a public place shall first make an application for a permit in that behalf to the appropriate authority.
Every person to whom a permit is issued shall be responsible for the due observance of all the conditions specified in the permit.
Every application for a permit shall be made in writing to the appropriate authority at least seven days, or within such lesser time as he may specify in any particular case, prior to the date on which it is proposed to organize or convene a meeting or procession.
The provisions of this section does not apply to processions solely in connection with marriages or funerals.
Any sporting, recreational or social event or fixture, any private entertainment, or any assembly for religious or charitable purposes, conducted with the permission of the local authority or other body or person having control of the public place in which such event, fixture, entertainment or assembly is held, shall be exempted from the provisions of this section.
The Executive Director of Dialogue Fiji Nilesh Lal says that they have had their forums funded by the EU in the past and they did not need a permit.
Lal was told that they need a permit for the meeting at Pearl Resort yesterday. He is now applying for a permit.
The panelists for the planned Dialogue Fiji Forum included Professor Biman Prasad, Doctor Ganesh Chand, Jone Dakuvula, Attar Singh and Nemani Buresova.
There were no representatives from FSC and Ministry of Sugar listed in the programme.
When asked on why these key stakeholders were not part of the dialogue, Nilesh Lal said that they were invited however they had said that they were not available.
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