Letters September 15 2014

Momi land swap Osea Mumu, Nadroga I want to raise a few issues regarding the project at Momi which I’m thankful to the Government and FNPF will be up and
15 Sep 2014 13:29

Momi land swap

Osea Mumu, Nadroga

I want to raise a few issues regarding the project at Momi which I’m thankful to the Government and FNPF will be up and rise again at the end of this year.

First the lands swap with Tokatoka Nahau. According to the Constitution, this is a good example of how any iTaukei land shall not be permanently alienated, whether by sale, grant, transfer or exchange unless to the State for development in roads, water or electricity as mentioned in Part 28. Still, this has to be compensated according to Part 27 whether by public purpose, history, market value and any hardship faced by the owner.

This is maybe one of the gaps in the last Constitution [1997] that was manipulated by the previous government to make the land swap at Momi legal.

As for my maternal link to Tokatoka Nahau, I tried my best to advise them in 2004 when the Momi project started but it fell on deaf ears. By then the previous government had already brain washed my cousins and they opted for a short term benefit instead to the core of my advice which was to be the long-term plan as stipulated in Part 27 of the Constitution i.e. the market value of the property.

This could have been useful to their children and grand children and the rest is history now.

Looking in the nutshell regarding that land swap and various incidents which took place in Momi until now, various questions need to be answered:

– What were the Custodian [NLTB] of our land way back then was thinking when they passed that land swap in Parliament in 2005???

– Were they on Tokatoka Nahau’s side as far as the word Custodian is concerned or were they on Matapo’s side (Developer)??? .

– How about if it was done in their respective tokatoka, mataqali, yavusa, province or vanua???

– Would they still have lifted that pen and signed that legal paper [that’s what they called it?

– The other issue I want to raise is the selling of our limestone to make that man-made island of Momi Bay Resort. Way back in 2004 when Momi started, a Trust was signed between the Resource owners and Matapo Limited to extract our God given limestone.

Making the story short we were paid by the royalty price for only $2.50 per cm with boulders and gravel [equivalent to $25.00 per ten wheeler truck]. The then NLTB took the administration cost, Turaga ni Yavusa and Turaga ni Mataqali with only $1.68 coming to Tokatoka Lavisa.

Tokatoka Lavisa is grateful to the Government for drafting the current Constitution to make landowners also reap the benefit of their resource used by developers in their land as stipulated in Part 30 .

Now we are selling our gravel to start the development at Momi [early stages] at $25 per cm[equivalent to $250 per ten wheeler truck] and the bonus is the royalty price of $2.50 is separate when we signed a Trust with a contractor still goes to TLTB.

After deduction, don’t forget administration has gone down to 5 per cent and no more turaga-ni-yavusa and turaga-ni-mataqali levies, the rest will be given back to us in our trust account. With the difference from 2004 we have uplifted our living standard [electricity wiring in houses, repair and renovate, assist to start own individual tokatoka members small business] and history was created when we conducted two marriages in one day.

To us, resource owners all over Fiji, this is a good example of how we are entitled to receive a fair share of royalties paid to the state and at the same time be a partner in developing our own land and working together with developers and contractors for the betterment of our future generation.

Having said all this, I’ll leave it to all landowners and resource owners all over Fiji to read and understand your Constitution 2013 Part 28 and 30 practice it on the ground as what Tokatoka Lavisa has done.

Colours of the Rainbow

Aman Chand, Suva

Everyone loves rainbows. Fiji in many ways is like a rainbow. Blue skies, green forests, turquoise oceans, and white sandy beaches come together to form the beautiful, breathtaking tropical paradise the whole world calls Fiji.

Fijians are also like the rainbow. They originate from many places of the world, have skin, hair and eyes of different colours, speak many languages and have different kinds of food, celebrations and art.

Just like the colours of the rainbow, each person is unique in his and her own special way. But all have similar feelings, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Let us celebrate and appreciate both our own and other people’s differences, and above all, to come together like the colours of the rainbow.

Like the colours of the rainbow when the people come together they appear even more beautiful. Let us all come together and be part of this beautiful rainbow and a beautiful tomorrow.

Medium loaf of bread

Neelz Singh, Lami

Well friends have you notice that some of the bakeries are always out of stock when you reach to buy a medium sized loaf of bread?

Are they really out of stock or they are not baking them anymore since the medium loaf of bread is price-controlled?

If you manage to grab one, good or else you turn up paying more.

7s team selection

Tomasi Boginiso, Nasinu

It’s good to see some old horses in the 7s selection. Having experienced players will boost the team. New Zealand has been doing it for a very long time and it has been a winning formula for them.

When we always lose they seem to get blamed but when they are at their best there is no doubt every Fijian celebrates.

The Olympics preparation is surely on track. Vinaka vaka levu Ben.

 Captivity lesson

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Nasinu

Listening to all the praises from the released Fijian soldiers via Fiji One news, my heart was touched when a soldier mentioned that it was a sad farewell between people of two different faiths.

We as a nation have prayed and God has moved in mysterious ways to bond the friendship of Muslim soldiers and our Christian peace makers.

I believe God is sending us Fijians a message through all that has transpired leading up to our soldiers’ testimonies.

If we seriously believe that God put that spirit of love in the hearts of the Muslim soldiers, not to harm our 45 peacekeepers and to treat them well, then God expects us Christians in Fiji to treat all the other races and religions in the same way here in Fiji.


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