3 Sep 2003

Fiji government labels constitution as act of cultural genocide

8:43 am on 3 September 2003

A Fiji government senator says the 1997 constitution is an act of cultural genocide against the indigenous Fijian people punishable by the International Court of Justice.

The Fiji Times says Senator Ravuvu made the comment when calling for a review of the constitution in the Upper House.

He says the constitution has alien valued and ideologies which do not safeguard the indigenous people.

Senator Ravuvu says it has increasingly marginalised the owners of the land, and their inherent cultural rights and heritage.

He says the constitution strives to enhance equality among all races but this has diminished and diffused the special position of the indigenous population in their own country.

Senator Ravuvu chaired the post-coup interim administration's constitution review committee which was declared illegal by the high court.