The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum calls on all Fijians to stop the desecration of places of worship and respect all religions and cultures in Fiji. The call comes in the spate of alleged racially motivated burglaries in Lovu, Lautoka (FT 14/6/2016). The incident included a display of taunting messages as well as damaged religious symbols and statues.
In 1973, Fiji ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), an international treaty that combats racism and implements measures to combat racial discrimination.
“The Constitution guarantees a safe space for all Fijians to practice their religion. Disturbing places of worship is not only offensive, it is inhumane. In Fiji, racially motivated crimes are not tolerated. Hate speech, sacrilege, racial and religious vilification are crimes under our laws. We also anticipate police investigations into these incidents and hope for tangible outcomes,” said Mr. Bulutani Mataitawakilai, the Chief Executive Officer of the CCF.
“The heinous acts of vandalizing school properties and desecration of places of worship have no standing in a progressive multi-cultural society like Fiji,” said the Chief Executive Officer.
CCF is the Secretariat of Fiji’s CSO Working Group currently responsible for the formulation of the ICERD Alternative Report due to be submitted to the respective UN Committee as part of the four (4) year reporting cycle.