February 20, 2013

Concern over native land law amendment in Fiji

Posted at 18:26 on 19 February, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Coalition for Democracy is worried about a decree to amend native land laws that has been issued by the interim government.

Fiji’s Land Act has been amended to prevent any further iTaukei or native land being able to be converted to freehold land.

The proposal from the Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has been approved by Cabinet and gazetted.

The coalition’s Nik Naidu says laws around land are so sensitive that potential changes used to require lengthy debate and consultation with land owners and chiefs.

“When it comes to native land in particular in Fiji, indigenously owned its senstive issue and past precedence has been the indigenous population in particular, the Great Council of Chiefs could veto and there’d be consults with landowners before laws could be touched, ammended or passed.”

Nik Naidu says this latest amendment is just one more of the interim regime’s illegal laws.

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