Update: 5:50PM FIJI will soon be placed under public emergency rule, said permanent secretary for Information Major Neumi Leweni this evening.
Speaking to the chief editors of the mainstream media, Major Leweni said the Public Emergency Regulations would be in place as soon as the necessary paperwork and decrees were ready to be effected.
The Regulations provide for the "control of broadcast and publications", he said.
Section 16 of the Regulations stipulates that the State has the authority to stop any broadcast or publication it believes could cause "disorder", "undue demands" on security forces", "promote disaffection or public alarm" or "undermine the Government and the State of Fiji".
The media's editors were told that in order to facilitate this, a Ministry of Information officer and a plain-clothed policeman would be stationed in every newsroom so that editors could consult them when in doubt about whether a news item was suitable for publication or broadcast.
Fiji Times editor-in-chief Netani Rika said the company's news operations would proceed as normal.
"We will as normal conduct ourselves with fairness and dignity despite the added pressures," he said.