NEWS

Govt Is Not Biased: PM

Government yesterday tabled before the House reasons why they would not subsidise churches and village halls destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Winston. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said they had set their
30 Apr 2016 10:54
Govt Is Not Biased: PM
From left: Government Whip Ashneel Sudhakar, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Semi Koroilavesau and Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Veena Bhatnagar at the Salvation Army Church Hall during the tsunami warning issued yesterday morning. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Government yesterday tabled before the House reasons why they would not subsidise churches and village halls destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said they had set their manifesto but it was a pity that the Opposition had not followed the Government’s policy in the last four to five years or they would have understood the reasons.

The issue came to light after outspoken MP Mosese Bulitavo requested for Government’s explanation to the issue.

Mr Bainimarama said he understood the logic behind Opposition’s move to bring up the issue in Parliament.

He said Government did not favour any religion over another; they must remain principled as well stood for equality and the protection of the various religions as enshrined in the Constitution.

“This means giving no preference to any one over another and creating a society where all religions can peacefully work together,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and other denominations can all practise freely in Fiji; and Government has no bias towards any religious identity – this is a point which the Opposition misses completely.”

Mr Bainimarama said the question relayed by the Opposition disregarded the nation’s Constitution and demonstrated the lack of understanding between the Government and religious bodies in Fiji.

He said it was not the Government’s responsibility to rebuild religious institutions whether it was a mosque or temple that suffered damage during a cyclone.

“Government is not worthy to decide which church needs rebuilding; it is not Government’s job to rebuild any church or halls in Fiji while the majority of Fijians including myself are Christians; but it is not a Christian state so it will be unfair to rebuild churches while leaving other religious places unattended,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said the Opposition had intended to make Fiji a Christian state on many occasions; but the platform was rejected by the Fijian people.

“The FijiFirst Government protects every right equally and doesn’t favour any religion over another; I respect the rights enshrined in our Constitution but the Government’s priority is to restore the buildings that benefit all Fijians,” he said.

“Our home, schools, jetties, hospitals and roads is our priority right now; with the limited resources these are the areas where assistances must be targeted.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: