Forgiveness is the way forward and should be included in the new constitution.
While making his submission to the constitution commission Former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said government should consider recalling the Great Council of Chiefs to deliberate on the question of forgiveness as a pillar character of Customary Law of the land and centuries old nature of “vakaturaga” of the iTaukei culture.
Rabuka told the commission that at the end of the meeting, the GCC should be able to resolve to forgive Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and all other’s involved in the 2006 coup.
He submitted that government should also consider giving the conference of the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma an opportunity to consider the question of forgiveness for Commodore Bainimarama and all others involved in the events of 2006.
Rabuka said once the two pillars of the iTaukei society of Fiji can agree to forgive the government, then they should put in place a truth and reconciliation commission.
Rabuka told the commission that section 5 of the 1997 constitution clearly states that religion and state are separate and that the people of Fiji acknowledge that worship and reverence of God are the source of good governance and leadership.
He told the commission that both religion and the state have crossed the separation line and some Christian Denominations such as the Methodist Church have interfered in the function of the State and conversely the State has interfered in some functions of the Methodist Church.
Rabuka submitted to the commission that the good itaukei communal leadership is essential for national coherent growth and itaukei participation in national development.
He said that the communal leaders must have the confidence of the communities to lead, and if the traditional holders of the positions of the leadership, they must be replaced by those who have the confidence of the community and can lead by example.
He added that this will not be too difficult to introduce as many villages have Turaga-ni-koro’s who are not traditional leaders and many Tikina and Provincial Councils are chaired by meritorious persons who are not the Tikina, Yavusa, or Matanitu-Vanua chiefs. Story by: Watisoni Butabua and Nemani Gavidi