27 Aug 2013

UFDF says regime curbs on Methodists' meeting not justified

1:24 pm on 27 August 2013

The political grouping, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, says there is nothing in the new constitution that justifies restrictions imposed on the Methodist Church.

The Fiji Methodist Church is currently holding its annual general meeting.

It says it needs two weeks to cover everything on the agenda, but was only granted four days.

A senior executive of the Sodelpa, that is part of the Front, Dr. Tupeni Baba, says this goes against the essence of religious freedom.

He says with the new constitution out, it's time that these restrictions stop.

"There is nothing at all in the new document that's just introduced, the regime's document, that justifies the treatment they have against the Methodist church. That should be absoloutely cancelled now, to demonstrate to the people of Fiji they are committed, really to give everybody a right of conscience. Right to all religious groups, whether they are Hindus or Muslims or Christians or Methodists or any other religious organisation in Fiji."

Dr. Tupeni Baba says the Methodist Church should have the right to determine how it wants to worship and conduct its meetings.

The Methodist Church says while four days is not enough, it is grateful to have been granted those days.