POLICE will now allow all civil society, non-governmental and faith-based organisations to hold public meetings with a one-off permit under the ambit of the Public Order Act.
This is to help facilitate and encourage public discussions on the civic education on the constitutional consultations.
However, a government statement released yesterday said the one-off permit would not apply to political parties or unions.
It said those applications would have to be made each time it wished to hold any meeting.
The process will work in the following manner NGOs and civil society groups, including faith-based organisations will need to apply to the Commissioner of Police and seek a one-off permit to have civic education meetings for the purposes of generating public debate and consultations in the lead up to the constitutional consultations, the statement said.
Once they have applied and obtained a permit, they will subsequently only need to inform the commissioner of police at least 48 hours before they intend to meet of the place and time of the meeting.
Any such meeting or organisation that breaches the provisions and intentions of the Public Order Act by prejudicing peace, compromising public safety and good order, engaging in racial or religious vilification, or undermining or sabotaging the economy or financial integrity of Fiji will be immediately stopped from holding the meetings and any subsequent meetings, it further stated.
Police public relations manager Ana Naisoro said they were now awaiting the return of Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua to discuss the issue.
She said she would not be able to comment on whether any interests had been generated from NGOs, civil society and faith-based organisations in the past 24 hours until the matter was discussed with the commissioner.
Were here to facilitate whatever the decisions are made from the government, Ms Naisoro said.