|Waqavonovono: regime draft fails youth|
In a statement issued today, the UFDF said that the views and concerns expressed by those at the meeting were similar to those expressed at the Suva meeting on Wednesday night.
The UFDF resolution called for:
1) The rejection of the draft constitution which is being imposed on the people of Fiji by an unelected regime in a dictatorial and arbitrary manner
2) Calls on the regime to revert to the Peoples 2012 draft constitution and to submit it to a fully representative Constituent Assembly to be appointed by the President
3) To include the establishment of a Truth and reconciliation Commission to allow the people of Fiji a process with which to heal all of the past ills and move forward together
4) Following the approval of the draft by the Constituent Assembly, the People’s 2012 constitution must be approved by the people of Fiji through a national referendum supervised by the International Community.
|UFDF: At least seven meetings coming up|
The UFDF also announced plans to launch a national Petition of the People to be presented to The President, and international institutions such as the United Nations, Commonwealth, European Union and others as a national expression of no confidence in the Regime and to signify the people’s outright rejection of the 2013 regime draft.
Additional meetings are planned for Lautoka, Ba, Labasa, Taveuni, Nasinu, Nausori and Suva in the coming weeks. Details and times will be announced soon.
The youth activist, Pita Waqavonovono, meanwhile says the regime's draft is a waste of energy and resources, and has called the regime's supporters 'cowards'.
The youth leader wants the regime to either reinstate the 1997 Constitution or allow the process within the Yash Ghai Draft Constitution to be tabled at a Constitutional Assembly.
Waqavonovono has also called for the amnesty provision in the Bainimarama Draft to be removed saying "If they feel what they did is right in carrying out the coup in 2006, why try to protect themselves and the people behind them! Could they be aware that right from the beginning they were partaking in a series of illegal activities?"
"If this is so, than this Constitution only serves to protect the current regime and is a collection of paranoid writings from a regime that does not entertain dialogue or opposing views".
Waqavonovono says there's a particular danger to the draft: it will take a referendum with a 70% plus majority to change it once it becomes law. And he says it ignores youth.
"Young people are not guaranteed a voice and are not recognized in the Bainimarama Draft.
"I would have wanted to see agencies and platforms created for young people and a specific provision provided for aligning all the different youth groups and upskilling as well as formalizing our current National Youth Council Structure.
"Instead we have a draft that does little to acknowledge youth in Fiji who make up a large percentage of the Fiji population and are active in formal and informal sectors.
"A good constitution is one that provide avenues for young people to participate and engage their leaders as well as associate freely in groupings.
"I cant see myself supporting the Bainimarama draft or even considering a living in a Fiji under that Constitution. I am caling on Fiji Citizens to openly oppose the Draft and demand radical changes, if not than a return to the 1997 Constitution."
Waqavonovono says he will make a submission to regime and hopes common sense will prevail.