Pacific Media Watch

20 August 2013

FIJI: Bainimarama relaxes rules around internet shops with new directive

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Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama wants more Fijians to have access to internet shops, but also wants a code of conduct created for these businesses. Image: Graham Davis/Grubsheet

SUVA (Fiji Times / Pacific Media Watch): Internet cafes will no longer have to close their doors at 9pm after a directive has been issued by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

"I have directed the police to reverse their decision to close internet shops in Suva before their normal closing time," the Prime Minister said, according to the Fiji Times.

"All internet shops from today will be able to open until the hours allowed under their specific business licences."

With many internet shops allowing all night deals for patrons, Bainimarama said yesterday parents should not take advantage of this.

The Prime Minister expressed concern over parents leaving their children at internet shops. He said this was “irresponsible behaviour” and urged parents to stop doing that.

"As parents, we owe it to our children to not only nurture them but keep them in a safe environment and provide them with proper guidance."

Internet pornography
Prime Minister Bainimarama also said he was aware of internet shops being used as locations for drug abuse and easy access to pornography.

But he added that common-sense was needed in the policing of the shops.

"The police are rightly cracking down on the operators of these internet shops.

"However, those shop-owners who are doing the right thing should not be penalised because of the illegal and irresponsible behaviour of a minority,” the Prime Minister said.

He said the Minister for Local Government had had meetings with the police and other authorities to develop a code of conduct for internet shops.

"We must allow all Fijians, and especially our young people, who want to access internet shops the ability to do so at every opportunity."

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Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons