FREEDOM is an important principle in the creation of a constitution because if people are given freedom they will live a good and enjoyable life, says Tavua Hindu priest Moti Maharaj.
While making submissions before the Constitution Commission on Thursday, Mr Maharaj said a country that gave freedom to its people to speak, move, oppose and the freedom to work in a good workplace would grow economically.
"By freedom we mean the freedom of speech, freedom to practise whatever religion we wish, freedom of movement and freedom to work in a good environmental workplace. Freedom can thus be classified as the rights to which each and every individual can practise as citizens of a country," said Mr Maharaj.
He said Fiji's new constitution should promote and reflect the principle in the context of Fiji by safeguarding the freedom of all citizens.
"The concept of freedom should be explained clearly in the constitution. Our country is a multiracial country and the constitution will therefore be for all the people of Fiji and no one will be discriminated.
"The constitution will see that everyone is given freedom and will also safeguard all the religions and no one will be allowed to talk ill of any other religion. The people will also be given the right to freely argue, protest or stand against any hazards to our country."
Mr Maharaj further submitted that monitoring bodies such as the army, police and the courts would see one's freedom was unduly challenged.
"People should have equal opportunity to education, jobs in parliament and in hospitals. There should not be any discrimination. This will help the country to progress.
"The constitution should reflect this clearly by clauses which will safeguard this theme," he said.