FIJI, August 18, 2011 (scoop.co.nz): The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum of Fiji strongly opposes the decision of the Shree Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji and the Fiji Police Force that Hindus wishing to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna needed to acquire a permit to do so.
“The decision violates the rights of individuals to Freedom of Religion and Belief and the Fiji Police and the Shree Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha must immediately retract their decision” says CCF CEO Reverend Akuila Yabaki.
The CCF is also concerned that the Shree Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji resolved that all Mandalis, temple Committees and organizations that are not registered are not to be given any permission by the government departments to organize any events.
“This decision puts serious restrictions on the rights of Hindu’s around the country who are now subject to unprecedented demands by the Sabha and the Fiji Police to hold prayers. Basing the decision on the requirements of the Public Emergency Regulation are unjustified as the PER has been in place for more than 28 months now and no such requirement for a permit was enforced during this period in the past.”
“It must be noted that Church services held daily and especially on Saturday and Sundays do not require the Church to get a permit. During this holy month of Ramadan for Muslims around the country, they too are not required to obtain a permit for their daily prayers, hence the decision to set up a special set of rules for Hindu’s is also discriminatory against a certain ethnic group and reflects badly on the intentions of the Sanatan Dharam Sabha.”