NEWS

Indigenous Fijians Want Land Back, PM Warns Of Harm It Will Do

PM: I will not allow this to happen because we have come a long way...  
16 May 2022 15:23
Indigenous Fijians Want Land Back, PM Warns Of Harm It Will Do
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Photo: Leon Lord

 

The Office of the Prime Minister still receives complaints from indigenous people who claim their forefathers were not fairly treated during the colonial era.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama revealed this while addressing the nation through his ‘Na Noda Paraiminisita’ programme yesterday on Radio Fiji One.

“This government has done things that other governments have not and one of them is respecting the rights of the indigenous people. I will never leave Fijians out of my sight,” he said.

“Some indigenous lands were taken away by force from rightful landowners. The government cannot do anything because these cases have been closed.

He said it would cause harm if it was to be reopened.

Mr Bainimarama said land in Fiji were categorised into three types – native land, state land, freehold land.

He said over 90 per cent of land in Fiji belong to indigenous Fijians while 10 per cent belong to both the state and individuals.

Back in the days, Fijians would swap land for development purposes but they cannot take their land back now because they do not have the right to do so.

“I will not allow this to happen because we have come a long way developing our nation. It is important to keep iTaukei lands safe.

He said if they return lands where developments are happening, there could be harm from other parties.

“The Government has changed the law concerning our land by not allowing land swap and others.”

He said some people were still crying over their land but the government cannot do anything because of the laws that restrict them from doing so.

Mr Bainimarama said this would be the time where politicians try to belittle the work of Government by manipulating them into believing the government has done little to nothing to protect the rights of landowners.

Feedback:  josefa.babitu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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