Re­spect our Pres­i­dent

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Save­naca Vakali­waliwa,

Sur­rey, BC, Canada

Ra­jen­dra Chaudhry may find it amus­ing to call Fiji’s Pres­i­dent names on so­cial me­dia.

But, I be­lieve he has crossed the line, be­cause all Ro­tu­mans will take of­fence in the name call­ing. Mr Chaudhry is cor­rect that Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tist Chris­tians do not drink kava and al­co­hol nor smoke cig­a­rettes, be­cause we be­lieve that our bod­ies are the tem­ple of God and in or­der to serve Him in spirit and truth, we need to be healthy phys­i­cally, men­tally and spir­i­tu­ally. We are proud that a Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tist is the Pres­i­dent of Fiji and Fijians un­der­stand that the po­si­tion in­volves in­ter­ac­tion with all the dif­fer­ent cul­tures in Fiji. In the iTaukei con­text, when one is ac­corded a wel­come cer­e­mony, the chief guest will have to drink the first bowl of yaqona and that’s it! As a Fi­jian of Ro­tu­man de­scent, it would be a slap in the face hu­mil­i­a­tion if the chief guest whom they have pre­pared a tra­di­tional wel­come re­fuses to drink that first bowl of wel­come for what­ever rea­son.

As Pres­i­dent, drink­ing that first bowl comes with the po­si­tion and it does not in any way af­fect his per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with God, nor does it weak­ens his Chris­tian faith.

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