I don't mean to promote one particular political party, but members of the church and leaders need to look at issues in society if they are serious about 'the Kingdom of God' here as a place of justice and equity for the people. I saw this article in today's Fiji Times.
Methodist 'Think Tank' talks about Fiji
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
THE Methodist Church in Fiji 'Think Tank' discussed Fiji's present status and its impact on the work of the Church and the livelihood of the people at the Epworth Hall in Suva.
A statement from Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu the church's assistant general secretary said the discussions were part of the church's "Christianity and Democracy" program.
"After the decision of the Church annual conference last August not to participate in the interim Government's charter process, the Methodist Church had decided to set up a think tank of professional lay members to offer advice and assist the Church elders and members over national social and economic issues," said Mr Waqairatu.
Concerns raised at the meeting included the poor state of government services, high inflation rate and the high rate of unemployment, the pursuit of fiscal policies which exacerbated poverty, the absence of good governance and lack of transparency on the part of some leaders in the interim government.
"Serious concern was also expressed at the weakening of some Fijian institutions and the interim government's attempt to politicise appointments to the Great Council of Chiefs and other Fijian Institutions," he said.
Also the meeting abhorred the erosion of basic freedoms, especially the right to express dissenting opinion, the curbing of the freedom of the press and the forced expulsion of the publisher of the Fiji Sun, Russell Hunter.
The media was barred from sitting in at the meeting which included divisional superintendents, circuit ministers and senior church officials.
There are 20 members of the 'Think Tank' made up of some former politicians in the deposed government like Adi Samanunu Talakuli, Asesela Sadole, Ratu Meli Saukuru, Ratu Jone Kubuabola, Doctor Tupeni Baba, Solomone Naivalu, Apisalome Tudreu and Pita Tagicakiverata.
Presentations yesterday was led by Ratu Jone and Dr Baba.
The next meeting of the 'Think Tank' with ministers of the Church will be held next month where they will be discussing good governance.