Thursday, November 12, 2009

Qarase’s Qoliqoli Bill to be Adopted

Why Bainimarama wants to adopt Qarase’s Qoliqoli Bill


posted: Rawfijinews - November 11, 2009

The Qarase-led SDL party’s Qoliqoli Bill pushed by them on the eve of the 2006 general election was meant to have strengthen their ethnic Fijian power base with the promise that the proprietory rights of qoliqoli areas from the beaches, lagoons, reefs and the deep open sea will be transfered from the State to the traditional indigenous Fijian owners.

The qoliqoli bill proposed a qoliqoli commission to oversee the fair distribution of income between commercial users of the qoliqoli areas with its ethnic owners, an issue that was causing much tension in certain tourist hot spots, mainly in the Yasawas.

Turtle Island American born owner, Richard Evanson and his then business associate, Andrew Fairley, led the charge in denouncing Qarase’s qoliqoli bill calling it all sorts of names.

They were soon supported by other resort operators who feared that the usually quiet but illogical tradional qoliqoli owners often tremple on their holiday makers by shooing them away from beaches, snorkelling and fishing grounds, which the natives say is their subsistence eating ground.

The qoliqoli bill became Fiji Tourism biggest enemy overnight as resort owners fought to preserve their tourists privacy and free access to Fiji’s sun, sand and sea.

Coupster Frank saw it as a great platform to launch his attack against Qarase and SDL spinning the qoliqoli bill as a racist bill against non-indigenous Fijians.

Within days of his public outrage against the qoliqoli bill purely aimed at smearing Qarase and SDL as extreme Fijian nationalists, Frank immediately received invitations to stay at exclusive Turtle Island Resort and other top of the notch resorts in Fiji.

With the invitations came the confirmations of financial support for Frank to topple Qarase’s democratically appointed SDL multi-party government.

These smart and well connected resort owners soon convinced Frank that with tourism alone, they can cripple Fiji’s economy if Qarase got free passage to pass the qoliqoli bill in parliament. But they needed a leader and a military leader with his gun support to prevent Qarase from taking over their touristy beaches and sea.

Locals like Bernadette Rounds Ganilau and others chipped in saying that the bill was destructive.

Fast-forward to November 2009 and suddenly, Frank is announcing on his pet radio station, FBC, that his junta is considering adopting Qarase’s qoliqoli bill.

So why the U-turn Frank and who adviced you to do it now?

We’re told that this is one of Aiyaz’s grand ideas again in his attempt to line Frank up in his march to win ethnic Fijians votes.

They say that Aiyaz also adviced Frank to launch this qoliqoli bill spin in an attempt to fizzle out the diplomatic stand-off between Frank’s junta and ANZ which attracted world-wide negative publicity for Frank & Co.

But the announcement was short-lived.

Frank uttered it only once to Riyaz Khaiyum’s radio station before he flew off to Brussels.

So what was that all about?

We see it as a poorly conceived disjointed farce that shows panic from Aiyaz and Frank’s side.

What’s your take?

- reporters

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