Public Submissions Ask To Reduce Size Of Fiji’s Parliament

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Villagers call for restoration of chiefly systems, secular state

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 10, 2012) – Villagers of Yavulo in Nadroga have called for a reduction in the size of Fiji’s parliament and a revision of the role of the military in their submission to the Constitution Commission over the weekend.

Those were two of the many conditions in the village submission made at the Talenavurvuru Provincial Bure on Saturday.

Also included in the villagers’ written submission were calls for Fiji to be declared a secular state and for the Great Council of Chiefs to be restored.

"All the rights and benefits of our chiefly systems are to be restored in order for them to fully carry out their responsibilities or obligation," the report said. "Fiji [is] to be declared a secular state but government to follow Christian principles and the coup culture to be stopped."

The submission also called for those involved in previous coups to be brought to justice and deposed governments should be recognized and compensated.

The submission also singled out land issues as areas it wanted to include in the constitution with calls for tenants to be disallowed from using of underground resources on leased land.

"Land ownership should always be with the mataqali and not an individual member and rights for the ownership of a piece of land should be extended to 100 meters underground

"There should not be any discrimination against the disabled people."

Two controversial points in the submission were the motion for the abolishment of gay rights and the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools with a set of guidelines.

The Yavulo submission also called for all individuals contesting in elections to be God-fearing.

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