STATEMENT FROM THE PRIME MINISTER
I have directed the police to reverse their decision to close Internet shops in Suva before their normal closing time. All Internet shops from today will be able to open until the hours allowed under their specific business licenses.
It has been brought to my attention that some parents have been leaving their children in Internet shops while they go to nightclubs. I urge those parents to stop this irresponsible behavior. 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.
It has also been brought to my attention that some of these shops have been used as places for drug taking and access to pornography.
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 behavior of a minority.
Meetings have taken place between the Minister for Local Government, the police and the Special Administrator of Suva 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.