Nadi Landown­ers Speak out

Fiji Sun - - Comment - Feed­back: jy­[email protected]­

It def­i­nitely calls for a cel­e­bra­tion from their long drawn out strug­gles, per­se­ver­ance and victory.

I have been in­volved with their Yavusa el­der Ru­si­ate Waqa since 2015 where I as­sisted in di­rect­ing him through their de­sire, which have now fi­nally paid div­i­dends un­der the lead­er­ship of our Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama and his chair­man­ship of the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) in com­pli­ance with our 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion.

indige­nous Fi­jian rights are safe and holis­ti­cally pro­tected in our World Ac­claimed 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion through its Bill of Rights where it safe­guards and pro­tects our iden­tity and her­itage.

The former Air­ports Fiji Lim­ited em­ployee, Ru­si­ate Waqa, in his in­ter­view has rightly crit­i­cised SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula who was then le­gal of­fi­cer for the NLTB in 2004, but turned them away and could not help them with a so­lu­tion cit­ing his 1997 Con­sti­tu­tion as a de­ter­rent in its laws.

It is ironic that on the one hand Nawaikula is cham­pi­oning the pro­tec­tion of the indige­nous Fi­jian rights un­der the pre­ten­tion of the ob­so­lete 1997 Con­sti­tu­tion to which Si­tiveni Rabuka the SODELPA Op­po­si­tion leader was the ar­chi­tect, but Nawaikula could not do it then, but how the hell on earth can he do it now with the 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion in place.

I am de­lighted that the right-think­ing ma­jor­ity Fi­jian re­source own­ers voted for the Fi­jiFirst party be­cause they did not like the idea of SODELPA dis­man­tling the equal fair share of lease monies distri­bu­tion in­tro­duced in 2015 by Mr Bain­i­marama in con­form­ing to our 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion.

It is ev­ery or­di­nary Fi­jian’s con­sti­tu­tional right to equal lease distri­bu­tion ir­re­spec­tive.

Thank you for the won­der­ful story Mr Waqa and God Bless the Vu­cu­ni­sai dreams in re­al­is­ing your fu­ture com­mer­cial as­pi­ra­tions on your to­tal re­verted 226 acres of Prime Crown Land, but please utilise it wisely to help all your mem­bers equally.

I would like to chal­lenge Mi­tieli Bu­lanauca, Ratu Naiqama, Mos­ese Buli­tavu and Nawaikula to write a

in re­ply to jus­tify and ex­plain to the landown­ers why their in­fa­mous racist 1997 Con­sti­tu­tion was not rel­e­vant in 2004 where he could not pro­cure a so­lu­tion for the Vu­cu­ni­sai land is­sue or was it the lack of po­lit­i­cal will and dirty di­vi­sive pol­i­tics? I also wish to en­cour­age Niko Nawaikula and his team to con­sis­tently read our 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion although they do not fancy the book­let, but it makes good read­ing, it also specif­i­cally em­pow­ers our Fi­jian re­source own­ers in­clud­ing Crown and Free­hold prop­erty own­ers of their right to a fair share of min­eral roy­al­ties mined be­low their land.

Those landown­ers from Na­somo Vil­lage, Vatuk­oula and Nawailevu, Naibulu and Vo­tua Vil­lage, Bua have been granted their first Roy­al­ties pay­ments where it has im­proved their life­style never recorded in our his­tory post-in­de­pen­dence. Such roy­al­ties pay­ments and rights are un­heard of and is nei­ther en­shrined in Si­tiveni Rabuka and Jai Ram Reddy’s now out­dated 1997 Con­sti­tu­tion.

The ex­pul­sion and dis­missal of the Land Ex­change Act from our 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion is an Act of God in holis­ti­cally pro­tect­ing indige­nous Fi­jian rights and land.

De­na­rau landown­ers from Narewa Vil­lage in­clud­ing those rel­a­tives from Tau Vil­lage through the FNPF Mar­riott’s Momi Bay devel­op­ment have had their Prime Land Re­serves to­tally alien­ated through the Land Ex­change Act of the 1970 and after the 1997 Con­sti­tu­tions re­spec­tively which is a Colo­nial Hang­over although they have ben­e­fited short-term from the ex­change deal.

Their five-yearly land re­assess­ment pe­riod on their prime land leases for those big time tourism land de­vel­op­ments are worth end­less tril­lions for their fu­ture gen­er­a­tions than the mea­ger and pal­try peanuts they now earn from the Land Ex­change deal in­sti­gated by the Si­tiveni Rabuka SVT and the Laise­nia SDL Gov­ern­ment from which ma­jor­ity of those MPs in­volved are still in Par­lia­ment to­day through the SODELPA op­po­si­tion party.

Be­ware it is the wrong trust, why ex­change your land for some­thing worth­less?

It is trick­ery, de­cep­tion and dis­hon­esty on the part of those past lead­er­ship, but our Fi­jiFirst gov­ern­ment party man­i­festo records it will en­act a Law early next year to set up an In­de­pen­dent Lands Tri­bunal to ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently ad­dress claims and al­le­ga­tions by landown­ers and ten­ants against TLTB and the Lands De­part­ment, isn’t that trans­parency on the part of our gov­ern­ment.

I ask all Fi­jians please read page 38 and 39 of the FF Man­i­festo plus also note that this gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship have in­creased the grant from $10mil­lion though our Brave 20182019 Na­tional Bud­get to a whop­ping $14mil­lion as pub­licly an­nounced by our Min­is­ter for Econ­omy, Aiyaz SayedKhaiyum.

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