30 Mar 2005

Fiji MP condemns attacks on Hindu temples

7:14 am on 30 March 2005

A Fiji member of parliament says constant attacks on Hindu temples are stretching the tolerance of its followers to the limit.

The Fiji Times says Labour Party MP Pratap Chand's comment comes in response to the latest attack in Nasinu near Suva where thieves smashed through a window and ransacked the temple.

Mr Chand says the ongoing attacks on Hindu temples are becoming unbearable and the patience of Hindus could break if they continue, thus further dividing Fiji.

Mr Pratap's comments follow the vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi's public praise for the Hindu community for not replying in kind despite repeated attacks of sacrilege.

Ratu Joni identified the role of the Methodist Church, the Great Council of Chiefs, the nationalist fervour during the 1987 and 2000 coups, and the 1990 Constitution for the religious intolerance in the country.

Fiji police have confirmed that temple attacks have increased in the last four years with 48 incidents investigated last year alone.