29 Aug 2002

Fiji senator calls for abolition of some public holidays

10:20 am on 29 August 2002

A Fiji government senator has called for the abolition of public holidays to celebrate the Hindu Festival of Diwali, the Prophet Mohammed's Brithday and the Birthday of Prince Charles.

Senator Miti-eli Bula-na-uca has told the Upper House by having these public holidays indigenous Fijian people are forced to bow down to other Gods in their own land - an act he says is unconstitutional.

He quoted a verse from the bible about not having any other gods apart from Jesus Christ and Jehovah.

Senator Bulanauca says if amendments on indigenous Fijian leadership, native land and the Christian faith in the constitution are not in place, then Fiji was yet to see the worst.

He said the birthday of Prince Charles should be scrapped as a public holiday because he was an adulterer.

But another government senator, Dr Ahmed Ali, interjected saying if this holiday is abolished on the grounds of Prince Charles' conduct, then there would not be many members left in parliament - it would be used as a yardstick.