17 Jan 2005

Fiji church backs fining parent of delinquent youth

5:06 pm on 17 January 2005

Fiji's Council of Churches has endorsed the fining of the father of two juveniles convicted of the sacrilege of a Hindu temple.

The president of the council, Father Api Qilio, says the landmark ruling by a Juvenile Court magistrate should remind people of their parental responsibilities.

The Fiji Times reports that magistrate Ajmal Khan ruled that the father of the twin 16-year-old boys was directly responsible for their actions because he did not bring them up to respect other people's religions and belongings.

The two were charged with burglary, housebreaking and sacrilege for burning holy books inside a temple near Suva and given a suspended sentence of six months jail.

Father Api says the ruling is fair in the christian context.

"I think the ruling will remind the parents again they have a very very important role and they need to put that into perspective, train their kids, teach their kids the way to live."

Magistrate Khan exercised his powers under a seldom-used provision of the Juvenile Act and said the father seemed to have thought his children were the state's responsibility.