Monday, August 08, 2011

Land Grab by Illegal Regime Raises Ire of Fijians

by Sai Lealea

Recent revelations on the real motive and impact behind the illegal regime's land Grab Scheme has raised the ire of native Fijians if exchanges and discussion on the blogosphere is anything to go by. Then again land has always been a priced and valued possession to all Fijians as through and by it, their identity, well being and world view is often shaped. 

It is no wonder it will always raise emotions to fever pitch level, and any attempt to restructure or reform how it is administered by the State, will be closely scrutinised. But when that administration is under the aegis of an unelected regime, it can only evoke heartfelt feelings akin to a kid forcibly parted from its birth mother. Worse still when the regime and administrators of Fijian land are themselves Fijians who should know better than to play grubby politics over a natural resource regarded as sacrosanct. Why else do Fijians bury their afterbirth back in the earth with a new plant to signify new growth and a renewal of spiritual ties.

Understand the importance of land to Fijians and you will understand what makes them tick as human beings in a world that is rapidly being depleted of humanity.

Below are examples from postings on the Matavuvale Blog over the land grab by the current illegal regime in power in Fiji.

  • Is there a way that the landowners be notified or educated about this treacherous scheme of luring their land into the illegal landbank ? We are in a position and we also owe our people this duty of raising awareness about this devious scheme.

  • If there are documents to support the above posting, please post on all social network, I will try to make a DVD on the issue and send them to Fiji for educational purposes. We cannot let gulliblity be the deciding factor where all native ownership is stripped leaving future generations in unkown existence
  • Regarding your question about the validity of this information, please be rest assured that it is true and can show you evidence when time permits. If you are not comfortable with the Bua example, just provide general awareness on the steps provided above about the danger of giving their native land to the land bank.
  • It is an urgent matter for the i taukei.
  • To be honest, I am cornered by the PER and cannot be part of the dvd or write or express myself in the media. Nor can I punch up Khaiyum because of his heavy security sorrounding. I cannot call a village or yavusa meeting of more than five (5) people without a permit.
  • There are 50 strategic people in the army, government, private and judiciary positions,and there are 400 paid informers all over Fiji at the moment from street cleaners, village 6 cinema attendants, airport workers, union office workers, internet blog monitoring people, even church members and family members of targeted people are bought with pay packets or other rewards.
  • My real identity and IP address have long been identified.
  • Mataqali, let us put it this way, I will continue to blog to highlight the plight of the i taukei and you and fellow concerned i taukei overseas will take care about the awareness, dvd etc.
  • Nuitaka ni o ni na ciqoma na noqu vakanananu ka o ni na rawa ni kila na ka keimami sotava tiko e Viti ena gauna qo.

Thank you so much Mata for the enlightening article about this land bank that Bai is promoting amongst our landowners.
So really our land is not safe anymore. This lie that we have been given back from the Mara administration that our land is safe is now fully exposed and I want to thank you Mata for putting it very plainly to us. Any Fijian who is still keen on giving their land up to the land bank for short term gains had better think twice.
Over the years, I had been wondering why the NLTB tenants had been fighting hard for extension of lease periods from 30 years to 45 than 99 etc. Even this was a process of isolating the landowners from their land; and on top of that they were expected to compensate the tenant for the 30 year development he did on the land. All these were required when over the tenancy period, the tenant was paying an amount based on the undeveloped value of the land.
The Koya, Reddy, Chaudary and all representatives of Native land user had been fighting hard to stop the change in this law of raising the lease to at least more than the 6% UCV, tenants have been paying over the last century of NLTB history.
This is the reason why I am advocating that we as Fijians cannot fight this fight with Union workers, politicians of other races, and human right advocates because they see things with a broad view. They will not fight for case like this that are peculiar only to us as Fijians.
The palagis have their own agenda, the Indians have theirs, and we as Fijian will be stupid if we expect them to fight for our welfare. It was Qarase who tried to make amends and move towards restoring some of our rights, just look back and see what happened to him. Even today, they are bringing up the FHL issues, the FDB etc against him and not once do they highlight that fact that he was beginning to see the light and had started to use his position to right some of the wrongs done to the Fijian people.
If we look some 30 or 40 years back, whenever Butadroka speaks of what we as Fijians are going through he was made a laughing stock. He was treated as a clown whereever he goes preaching the truth about the future of the Fijian people if we continue to follow our blind leaders.
Rabuka may have started the right way, but as soon as his pockets were filled by business people and other foreign powers, he gave up and gave everything back including the 1990 constitution that favored and protect us as Fijians.
There is a lot more that we can dwell on as Fijians that we can safely say today that we were being led up a blind alley by our leaders in the past.
But the main thing is to ask what are we going to do from now on? Teaming up with people of other races is one thing that will not help us.
I am so grateful to mataqali for helping us see the danger about this land bank.
Da YADRA mada na kaiVITI, kua so na viavia veivakayalo vinaka taki tiko. Da tu vakadodonu ka valataki ira na noda kawa ni mataka.

This is the worst kind of exploitation that any government - even worse when illegal - or company, conglomeration, or anyone, can inflict on traditional landowners anywhere in the world, especially, as in this case in Bua, where the people are not fully informed (i.e. they do not know) about the consequences of what they are agreeing to, or have access to the best people who can provide them with totally unbiased advice on what they can negotiate on.

"The part payments will total up to $1.95 million; the mining company will mine bauxite for the rest of the 99 lease period without any more financial payments to the landowners."
Even if the company says, in addition to the $1.95 million,  "We will provide employment for the people, build schools and roads, provide Health Services, give people training, apprenticeships etc..." - it is still a one-off payment that represents only a miniscule percentage of the total profit the company will get over the 99 years.

More questions:
  • Are the landowners going to get any royalties at all?
  • Were they allowed to negotiate, or did they just listened and watched while the carrot was dangled in front of them?
  • What were the conditions for depositing the land in the so-called Land Bank?

Ni vakasamataka mada 'qo - kemuni na Turaga kei na Marama Na-to mai Bua.
1. E dodonu mo ni a veibataka me na dau saumi tiko vei kemuni e dua na i wase ni i lavoTUBU ni kabani e na veiyabaki - me kua ni lailai sobu mai na 10 na pasede.
2. Ke a rawa 'ya, 'o ni sa na rawa ni na taura tiko kina e drau vakacaca na udolu na dola e na veiyabaki, me yacova sara ni cava na 99 na yabaki.
3. Na TUBU ni kabani va 'qo e na veiyabaki e tiko e na vica vata na milioni na dola, ka toso cake tale ga na TUBU e na veiyabaki. Na levu ni TUBU, na kena levu ni nomuni i wasewase.
4. Ni qarauna de so era sa sainitaka laivi na i wase ni TUBU au tukuna toka e cake me rauti ira ga, ka sega ni lako ki na vanua.

Vinaka vakalevu PW na nomuni i tukutuku.
Sa vakamosi ulu dina na levu ni veivakaisini sa da raica tiko ni kua.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ni yalo vinaka mai bua ni kua ni kuitaki ena lasu e cakava tiko vei kemuni o bainimarama kei kaiyum. e i lavo lailai sara ko ni taura, me vakatautauvatatki kei bilioni ena rawata na kai jaina kei milioni ena lako ena taga nei bainivuaka kei na watina ko kaiyum.