FIJI NEWS

Beware of land lies

Pm warns Nawaisomo Villagers against untruths in political campaigns MAIKA BOLATIKI Suva Beware of land lies during the election campaigns. This warning was made by the Prime Minister, Rear Admiral
06 Jul 2014 09:33

Pm warns Nawaisomo Villagers against untruths in political campaigns

MAIKA BOLATIKI
Suva
Beware of land lies during the election campaigns.
This warning was made by the Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama during the talanoa session at Nawaisomo Village in Naitasiri on Friday.
He said political parties, especially the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), had been saying in their election campaigns that the landownership rights of the iTaukei are being eroded.
“This is not true and the real truth is that the iTaukei lands are well protected in the Constitution,” the Prime Minister said.
In fact, he said some in the SODELPA were part of a Government that eroded iTaukei land rights by allowing the conversion of native land to freehold title.
“The new Constitution, for example, gives landowners now a fair share of royalties from mining activity. There are other protections and benefits. In short the truth is that my Government has strengthened iTaukei rights, not eroded them,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“You must guard yourselves against the lies told by SODELPA in regards to traditional land issues.”
He said they had promised their supporters to change all the decrees including land decrees.
Another issue they were talking about was bringing back the President to chair the iTaukei Lands Trust Board (TLTB).
He said currently the Prime Minister was the chairman of the TLTB and he made this change so that the Government becomes answerable to the iTaukei people in regards to their land under the TLTB.
The Prime Minister said his main worry was these old politicians were after the millions of dollars now with the TLTB.
“TLTB now has $52 million and most of these old politicians were after this amount.”
According to the Prime Minister, the people who were promising to change the land decree had abused the TLTB system under the chair of the President.
He assured the people of Nawaisomo that he was not campaigning but just telling them the truth of what had happened in the TLTB before the change in government in 2006.
Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj




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