World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Permit Requirements for Hindu Prayers Unwarranted

16th August, 2011

Permit Requirements for Hindu Prayers Unwarranted

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum is shocked to learn of and 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 this week need 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 and allow Hindu’s to mark Krishna Janmashtami celebrations without any restrictions” 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.”

The Fiji Police Spokesperson has also made media statements stating that people planning to organize religious programs will have to get a permit from police if the program will have a gathering of more than 10 people.

“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.”

Krishna Janmashtami celebrations are an auspicious occasion for Hindu’s world over as is Christmas and Easter for Christians and Ramadan for Muslims and there must be no restrictions placed to stop people from celebrating these religious functions or making unreasonable demands.”

The CCF calls on both the Police and the Sabha to reconsider their decision and while the two institutions may want to monitor the religious gathering; the worshippers must not be subject to acquiring a permit to practice their faith and religion as a fundamental human right under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his or her religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his or her religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. “

The current government notes in Pillar 2 of the Peoples’ Charter for Change, Peace and Progress the “Encouragement and promotion of religious freedom and understanding and conduct of interfaith dialogue and the sharing of spiritualities.”

Reverend Akuila Yabaki
CEO - CCF

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>