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Secular state for all, Christian state will not help nation-building: PM Bainimarama
5:33 pm GMT+12, 15/08/2012, Fiji

“Fiji will be a secular state,” says Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

This was the Prime Minister’s response to the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party submission summary handed to the Constitution Committee by the party constituent leaders.

The SDL said Fiji should be a Christian State and Christianity is the state religion.

“This will never happen,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said Fiji as a secular state would tie in well with Government’s new roadmap in building a better Fiji for all.

Fiji is a multi-cultural and multi-religious society and the Prime Minister said these had to be respected.

A secular state is where a country is officially neutral in matters of religion. Wikipedia says: “A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/non-religion over other religions/non-religion. Secular states do not have a state religion or equivalent, although the absence of a state religion does not guarantee that a state is secular.”

According to the Prime Minister, the mere notion of a Christian State defeated the whole objective of the new multicultural Fiji.

“A Fiji that will see all Fijians have deep respect for individuals and the small groups of which they are a part. A  Fiji that will see equality for all Fijians. A Fiji that will see each person being helped to realise their particular excellence and a Fiji that will see Fijians living harmoniously and peacefully.”

The Prime Minister has again reminded the public to make submissions that will be good for all.

There has been a lot of talk about the SDL submission and the party president Solomoni Naivalu had confirmed to the Fiji Sun that submissions made on behalf of the party were done by the constituent party leaders who had been given a summary of the party submission.


SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS


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