New Constitution Will Need To Be Regarded As Sacred Document


SUVA – The new constitution of Fiji will need to be regarded as a sacred document – created for the people by the people of Fiji so that no one can destroy it, says Prof Satendra Nandan, a member of the Constitution Commission.

Fiji has abrogated three of its constitutions since 1970 which, he says, speaks volumes of the ignorance and lack of understanding Fijians have towards the document.

Prof Nandan told The Fiji Times in Tailevu yesterday that when people had a sense of ownership of these new laws, then they would feel free to come forward and make their voices heard. At the same time, he said, the people should also treat the document like Fijians treasure their land and culture.

Prof Nandan said only 500 submissions were received by the commission since August 3.

He said this was not a “good sign” because a lot of people still did not understand how important the document would be in their lives and the lives of their children.

“A number of people talked about the Deed of Cession, obviously it’s a sacred moment in history but why can’t we regard our constitution as a scared document,” Prof Nandan said.

He said people should regard the constitution sacred as they did for the Bible and other religious text.

The constitution was created by people for the people and should be treated as sacred, so no one could destroy it,” he said.