5 Apr 2013

Rewa chiefs express alarm and disgust at Fiji regime's draft constitution

2:40 pm on 5 April 2013

Customary chiefs of Fiji's Rewa province say they are disgusted and alarmed by the Fiji regime's handling of land rights in its draft constitution.

Rewa's paramount chief Ro Temumu Kepa led a delegation of chiefs to hand in their submission on the draft yesterday.

The region's indigenous leaders say they reject the draft and Fiji must return to the 1997 constitution.

The group says it had trust in last year's constitutional consultation process by the Ghai commission, despite being committed to the earlier document.

The chiefs say the regime's draft is regressive and only entrenches the power of the Prime Minister, Attorney General and Chief Justice.

They say they are seriously concerned about the removal of entrenched laws which safeguard indigenous institutions and traditions.