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Editorial: Your Land Is Secure, PM, President Tell iTaukei

We should all be proud that all Fijians are pro­tected under the supreme law of the land, the 2013 Constitution. For the iTaukei, the President – Major-General (Re­tired) Jioji Konrote
28 Nov 2018 12:36
Editorial: Your Land Is Secure, PM, President Tell iTaukei
Major-General (Retired) Jioji Konrote

We should all be proud that all Fijians are pro­tected under the supreme law of the land, the 2013 Constitution.

For the iTaukei, the President – Major-General (Re­tired) Jioji Konrote – when opening Parliament on Monday said, “I am proud to say that our Constitution grants the strongest-ever protections of iTaukei land in Fijian history. Because of those protections, there is no way that iTaukei land in this country can ever be perma­nently taken or alienated”.

Under the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama-led FijiFirst Government not one square centimetre of iTaukei land has been lost.

He is on record when he said – “That Constitution can­not be violated, ever. It mandates every action of my Government and in the Constitution iTaukei land is protected for all time. Under past governments we saw iTaukei land being sold off entirely, lost forever from its rightful owners. Those days are over. Today, 91 per cent of land in Fiji is owned by the iTaukei and not one inch of that land has been lost under my leadership.”

The FijiFirst Government has taken down the old sys­tems of control and privilege that kept resources in the hands of the few.

This had left the vast majority of iTaukei people cash poor, even though they held such valuable assets.

Under the FijiFirst Government land is no longer a po­litical tool in Fiji. However, it is a source of prosperity, as it should be, and every day Government is assisting more iTaukei people to become more financially power­ful by developing their land and making the most pro­ductive use of it possible.

We are also witnessing under this government the equal treatment of the iTaukei people.

Before chiefs were given the first opportunity and com­moners would have to wait.

All iTaukei peo­ple are also enti­tled to the rights Government has always fought to uphold for all Fi­jians, including the right to access to free education, scholarships, ter­tiary education loans and access to roads, water, electricity, subsi­dised bus fares, free water and subsidised elec­tricity to name a few.

With these un­precedented guar­antees, Prime Minister Bainima­rama says his Gov­ernment wants to do more.

“We didn’t only want to protect the ownership of iTaukei land and the rights of the iTaukei, we wanted to do one better by providing a solid founda­tion for growth that would empower iTaukei people and that is what this project is all about.”

It is time that the iTaukei people make good use of their land.

Government has set up a fund specifically for the devel­opment of their lands to be used to bring money to them.

We’re happy that we have a Government that wants to work together with the iTaukei people to develop their land that is protected by the 2013 Constitution.

Many non iTaukei people are rich from the develop­ments carried out on their land.

iTaukei people can follow suit and we have a Govern­ment that will help make this happen.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

MAIKA BOLATIKI


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