26 May 2005

Fiji Law Society challenges Qarase over reconciliation bill

2:19 pm on 26 May 2005

The Fiji Law Society has publicly questioned the prime minister on his fiercely criticised Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The questions have been raised in an open letter to Laisenia Qarase signed by the Society's president, Graham Leung, and published as a full-page newspaper advertisement.

Mr Leung has asked Mr Qarase what message he would be sending to the people if he simply describes what happened in the 2000 coup as political and not criminal.

He has asked Mr Qarase what he would be telling the young people of Fiji about the difference between right and wrong.

Mr Leung says ordinary Fijians have told him that if they were sent to jail, they doubt if any politicians would take steps to get them out.

Mr Leung says for the rule of law to work, Mr Qarase cannot treat people differently.

He says people all over the world understand, whatever their cultures and form of government, that discrimination is wrong.