2 Sep 2005

Architect of Fiji constitution warns government about its reconciliation bill

10:14 am on 2 September 2005

The former New Zealand governor general and architect of Fiji's 1997 Constitution, Sir Paul Reeves, has warned that the Qarase government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill can be very damaging to the people, particularly the victims of the political crisis.

Sir Paul, who is in Nadi for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting, has told the Daily Post, it is important to listen to various views on the Bill, and include those of the Indian community.

He has suggested that the authorities dealing directly with the Bill should look for a group of wise men to help in implementing the right processes related to the controversial Bill.

Sir Paul says the Bill contains good words like "reconciliation" but it could end up being very damaging.

He says reconciliation is achieved when the perpetrators and the victims face each other and the perpetrator asks for forgiveness.

Sir Paul says in some instances, the community may decide that some people need to stay in prison because of what they have done.