FIJI FIRECRACKER BAN RILES HINDUS

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SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Nov. 2) – The Fiji Labor Party has hit out at the government for restricting the use of firecrackers.

"The ban on firecrackers is a denial of freedom of religion for the Hindus of the country," FLP member Satendra Singh said. "Whilst clause 35 of the Constitution clearly stipulates this, it is sad to note that the government is intent on breaching the constitution."

He said some of the very common firecrackers such as "moon travelers" which were widely used by people had been banned.

"The leaders of those religious institutions which made the government place a ban on firecrackers does not deserve to hold on to the reins of these institutions. At a time when we are tirelessly trying to protect our rights and privileges, the actions of these leaders are unwarranted," he said.

Singh said limiting the use of firecrackers to between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. is just another attempt to deny the religious rites of the Hindus.

"The argument that it disturbs the tranquility of the night is just laughable. How about the merry making, shouting and singing that shatters the peace of night during Christmas and New Year?"

November 2, 2004

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

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