FTUC march permit delayed

THE Fiji Trades Union Congress has called on the Fiji Police Force to offer an explanation for the delay in processing an application for a march through Suva on April 7.

Union national secretary Felix Anthony said he had been following-up with the police on a daily basis since the application was lodged a few weeks ago.

“We are getting increasingly concerned that for no reason the police are withholding the permit,” he said.

“There is no reason for the police to withhold approval other than political pressure from Government,” he claimed.

“It is our constitutional and human right to protest for improved working conditions and for a $4 minimum wage and we certainly wish to exercise these rights.

“This clearly exposes this Government’s lack of commitment to democracy and the people’s right to exercise their rights.

“Government must come out and state their position in this regard.

“Why are they scared of the people standing up if they believe they are doing a good job?”

When contacted yesterday, Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu said all queries regarding the application were handled by divisional police commander South Senior Superintendent of Police Tevita Waqabaca. Attempts to obtain comments from SSP Waqabaca yesterday were unsuccessful.