FijiFirst and Opposition MPs Asked to Leave Rally Against Fukushima Wastewater Release

FijiFirst Opposition MPs including their leader Voreqe Bainimarama and secretary general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum were asked to vacate the vicinity of a rally in Suva this morning, where hundreds had gathered in support of a rally organised by civil society groups protesting against the release of Fukushima wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.

Among the FijiFirst MPs gathered were Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya, and newly elected MP Ketan Lal. One of the MPs was overheard requesting identification from a police officer who had instructed them to clear the area.

While their supporters marched with the rest of the crowd through Victoria Parade, some of the FijiFirst executives walked on the pavement. Other MPs joined the rally upon its arrival at Albert Park.

When questioned, acting Commissioner Police Juki Fong Chew pointed out that one of the conditions of the rally permit prohibited political party representation or group participation.

“One of the permit conditions included no political party representation or groups, which was discussed and accepted by the permit holders and NGO representatives yesterday,” Chew said.

During the event, organisers had to plead with some members of the media to focus their attention on the rally and their advocacy efforts as some of them had turned their attention Sayed-Khaiyum and Bainimarama with their supporters, who were receiving guidance from police personnel on the sidelines.

The march, which spanned approximately three hours, began at the Flea Market and proceeded through Suva’s CBD, passing by BSP Life Building, which houses the Japanese Embassy, before culminating at Albert Park, directly opposite the Fiji Parliament main entrance.

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