Submissions to the Constitution Committee have now closed and certainly Professor Ghai and his team are going to have a difficult task ahead as so many submissions have gone quite against the regime charter ideas and 'non-negotiable' points such as a secular state etc. What makes the final cut I wonder! Criticism has come out strongly and it seems what the media were not allowed to do because of the decrees, the submissions could say what people really are thinking. Here is how one reporter in Fiji Live wrote up about the SLD submission.
SDL wants ‘vibrant and multi-cultural’ Fiji October 21, 2012 03:16:01
Fiji's Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua party in their submission to the Constitution Commission said that they believe in a new and more vibrant multi-cultural Fiji. However, they stated that there have been inadequate, meaningful and durable multi-ethnic manifestations of national identity. SDL’s president, Solomone Naivalu told the commission that Fiji needed to build a more stable foundation for national unity and tolerance. “History has taught us that more often than not, we hardly learn from the past. It is our concern that we are once again treading the path of ignoring past mistakes and not addressing the inherent insecurities of our diverse ethnic communities,” Naivalu said. Among these insecurities, he highlighted the establishment of the Land Bank without proper consultation, the removal of their representatives through the Bose Levu Vakaturaga (BLV) in the NLTB and the imposition of the Surfing Decree. Naivalu also highlighted the erosion of traditions and culture through the media propagation of a globalised mono-culture, discrimination of principles and continued marginalisation from economic power with the discontinuation of affirmative action programmes to encourage and develop Fijian businesses. He further said the assertion of the indigenous rights and issues are now seen as racist and discriminatory by the Government. He also said that the proposed declaration of a secular state shows a lack of understanding of the historical significance of the enlightenment that Christianity brought to Fiji and the moral decadence that accompanies secularism.
By Indrani Krishna
Read more at: http://www.fijilive.com/news/2012/10/sdl-wants-vibrant-and-multi-cultural-fiji/48380.Fijilive
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Note: The SDL now have a website so the complete notes of the submission can be found there.