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FIJI: Regime upset over reports on Fiji

19 October 2000.

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

Regime upset over reports on Fiji Issue No: 132; 19 October 2000

The interim regime is upset over publicity abroad of the regime's inability to handle the socio-economic and political problems in Fiji.

Regime's Information Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola lashed out at the Manager of the Save the Children's Fund Fiji branch for an interview with New Zealand Press Association on 15 October. The Manager, Irshad Ali, informed the press of the massive social and economic problems arising from state sponsored dislocation of largely ethnic Indian population. Ali reported correctly that often the eviction of ethnic Indians from farms are violent and traumatic, with many families not being able to even take their personal belongings with them

Kubuabola condemned Ali for going "beyond his brief as a head for a non-political organisation". In a press statement, Kubuabola stated:

"First of all Ali has provided false information to his NZ counterparts and to the NZ media on the current climate in Fiji. Secondly, he has assumed a role that is contrary to what Save the Children Fund is all about -which is to create a better world for children. Instead, Mr Ali in assumedly trying to inform the NZ community about the status of children in Fiji, has clouded his presentation with negative and false images of the current situation in the country."

The regime's condemnation is a clear attempt to silence informed opinion coming from credible NGO's on the true conditions in Fiji.

END

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

NLTB is the landlord, not mataqali - NLTB Issue No: 131; 19 October 2000

The NLTB says it is the landlord of 83% of all land in Fiji, not the ethnic Fijian mataqali who are supposed to own the land.

The NLTB's Northern Regional Director, Emosi Toga told today's Fiji Sun: "for all native lands in Fiji, the landlord is the NLTB and not the mataqali that owns the land". Toga was reacting to the statement by Peoples Coalition's Krishna Dutt (see out posting No.130).

This position is similar to the NLTB's Deed of Sovereignty which it had circulated when the government was held hostage by the terrorists. The document had called for the surrender of the rights over all land by the ethnic Fijian owners (mataqali) to the Taukei Civilian Government, a term used by Speight and his band to refer to his government. The document was condemned by most mataqalis, and NLTB General Manager, Maika Qarikau was being sought by the police for trying to illegally take over land belonging to the mataqali.

END


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