HINDU GROUP WANTS FIJI MILITARY TO COMBAT VANDALISM

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 31) – The Fiji military should be called in to handle cases of desecration, the Shree Sanatan Dharam Pratindhi Sabha of Fiji says.

The Sabha says filing a complaint in the international arena was another option being considered.

In a statement yesterday, the Hindu organization said it felt that "military intervention was necessary given the failure of police to combat the crime."

It called on police and the judiciary to take harsher measures against those who desecrate places of worship.

"Things have gone beyond control and if authorities concerned do not take the necessary steps, we will have no alternative but to take our grievances into the international arena," it said.

The Sabha was reacting to the most recent desecration of a Hindu temple at Raralevu, in Tailevu.

[PIR editor’s note: According to PIR news files, three Hindu temple burglaries were reported in September.]

The Sabha said the Hindu community was sick and tired of the cowardly acts carried out by people who had no respect for society and religion.

"We strongly condemn such acts and urge police and the judiciary to take harsh action against people who are caught and prosecuted for carrying such cowardly acts," it said. "The Government should seriously look into this problem and safeguard the interests of the Hindu community of Fiji."

Minister for Multi-Ethnic Affairs Ratu Meli Saukuru says temple desecraters will never have divine blessings.

Ratu Meli said those responsible for the sacrilege of temples around the country would not find peace in this life.

"Whoever is responsible for such acts will never have peace in his life, his family and his vanua," Ratu Meli said, "While we try and promote reconciliation and peace in the country, some people try and destabilize our race relations. Some people are doing it with the intention of stealing money and they do not have any idea on the implications it has on the race relations."

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