Reconciliation and Unity Commission

Reconciliation And Unity Commission

Reconciliation and Unity Commission

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The Reconciliation and Unity Commission is a proposed government body to be set up if the Reconciliation, Tolerance, and Unity Bill, which was introduced into the Fijian Parliament on 4 May 2005 is passed. The legislation proposes to empower the Commission to grant amnesty to perpetrators of the Fiji coup of 2000, and compensation to victims of it from 19 May 2000 through 15 March 2001. The Fijian President will retain a veto over the granting of amnesty.

The Commission is to be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. Its purported objectives are to promote reconciliation in a spirit of tolerance and unity.

Attorney-General Qoriniasi Bale announced on 5 July that the bill is likely to be tabled in Parliament in September, but on 10 August, Manasa Tugia, the Chairman of Parliament's Justice, Law and Order Committee, announced that the date would be brought forward to mid-August.

On 17 August the House of Representatives voted to approve a request from Tugia to extend the time for the committee to hear submissions on the bill. Tugia said the extension was necessary because Hindi translations of the bill had not yet been legally vetted and distributed, and because the views of important stakeholders had not yet been received. Tugia said submissions received so far revealed diametrically opposed views on how to overcome Fiji's "coup culture." The differences appeared to be over means, not...
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