17 Jun 2002

Fiji prime minister says religion is a bridge to unity

7:51 pm on 17 June 2002

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says there is something divine in the way religion in the country is becoming a bridge to unite people.

And he says he could sense the hand of God at work when he looked at the topic of his speech about religious tolerance and national reconciliation.

Mr Qarase made the comment in his address at the weekend annual convention of the Hindu religious organisation, the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji.

Saying that he was sure God wants the people of Fiji to live in harmony, Mr Qarase said he humbled himself as an imperfect Christian and sought God's help for Fiji.

He said his critics would denounce his comments but his wthey were entitled to their views.

Mr Qarase also said he was absolutely convnced that an understanding on the land issue and constitutional change which will not compromise the community could be reached.