The SDL Party wants Fiji to be declared a Christian State, Christianity to be the state religion and Fijian to be the national language of the state.
The SDL (Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua) was founded in 2001 by Laisenia Qarase. It is widely seen as the successor to the Alliance, the former ruling party that had dominated Fijian politics from the 1960s to the 1980s. It draws its support mainly from indigenous Fijiians.
The recommendations are contained in the SDL’s submission to the Constitutional Commission. The SDL say they want the name “Fijian” to be reserved for the indigenous Fijians and all citizens to be called “Fiji Islanders”.
SDL also proposes that there should be no provisions for dual citizenship.
SDL officials say that the party wants the term “sexual orientation” to be removed from the Bill of Rights of the 1997 constitution.
In that section it states that a person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly, on the ground of his or her sexual orientation.
They propose that parliament and senate should be retained, some communal seats to be retained and the balance to be won under the one man one vote system.
On the appointment of the country’s President and Vice President, SDL has suggested that they should still be appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs.
Recently the blogger Graham Davis said, “The recent observation by the former vice-president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, that race relations in Fiji have never been better is an important acknowledgement of unquestionably the Commodore Bainimarama Government’s greatest achievement.”
“This is its crusade to bridge the gulf between the races in Fiji and try to draw a line under the entrenched separateness that has always bedeviled the country and retarded its development. Whatever else it may have done since it seized the reins of power five and half years ago, the attempt to create one Fijian identity has been the most daring of the regime’s initiatives and the most noble.”
News category: Pacific.