Fiji's Government is stepping back from a promise of a more open society and imposing new controls on public order just a day before it was supposed to lift more than two years of emergency rule.

While the new controls are a looser version of the emergency rule Commodore Frank Bainimarama imposed in mid-2009, critics of the military ruler are expected to decry the latest move as further evidence of bad faith by his regime.

The Government had said it would lift that emergency rule today, but the new rules issued yesterday indicate it will still maintain tight control.

Bainimarama says the controls are needed to address terrorism, racial tensions and hate speech, among other things. Agencies