19 May 2005

Fiji business organisation comments on government's Reconciliation Bill

10:18 am on 19 May 2005

The Fiji government's controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill has made it into the country's business arena.

The Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry says man-made laws like the Reconciliation Bill will not work if economic disparity continues and offenders do not have moral values.

The chamber president, Taito Waradi, says sustainable ethnic reconciliation is possible only if it is preceded by reconciling economic disparities between the indigenous and non-indigenous communities.

Mr Waradi says the cycle of unrest can be stopped only by successfully integrating indigenous Fijians into the economic life of the country.

He says economic reconciliation must precede social and political reconciliation.

Mr Waradi says no amount of legislation can guarantee lasting peace and stability if the people it is supposed to serve are not prepared to live by them and where necessary defend them with their lives.