14 Sep 2002

Home of man at centre of Fiji constitition case razed by fire

9:21 am on 14 September 2002

Fiji police say the home of Chandrika Prasad, the farmer who successfully challenged the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution, has been burnt down.

The Daily Post says police suspect the burning of the 65-year-old house in Muainaweni was an arson attack.

Mr Prasad, who now lives in New Zealand, had recently asked a relative to move into his Fiji home which has been vacant for almost 2 years.

Mr Prasad's home is the seventh to be torched in the area since the May 2000 coup

Residents say the alleged arson attack will disrupt the relatively peaceful relationship between indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians after a series of reconciliation talks.

Non government organisations and opposition MPs say that the fire raises questions about the reconciliation programmes put in place by the govenrment.

They claim that the incident is a failure of the state to reconcile the two races.