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Lovo and Palau fail to get refugees out of camp

Issue No: 377 14 January 2001

The regime has announced that it has organised a lovo and palau party for the residents of Muaniweni to help in reconciliation between the ethnic Fijian villagers who had terrorised the ethnic Indian farmers, and the ethnic Indian farmers who have remained in the area.

The announcement came just days after some families who had returned to Muaniweni from the refugee camp, again left for the camp because of fear of being terrorised again. One family was terrorised by village youth. While the youth were arrested and jailed, the failure of the police force to stop terrorism before it starts has destroyed any confidence which the regime's staff may have managed to build over the past many weeks. Residents at the refugee camp have remained united in their resolve to not to return to Muaniweni. The regime has put numerous forms of pressure on the farmers to force them to return. It is reported that the regime has even directed the Lands Department to consider revoking the leases of state land leased to farmers who do not return to Muaniweni.

One refugee stated: "Lovo or no lovo; we are not returning. We want the government to provide us alternative land in the western side". Lovo is a traditional ethnic Fijian dish cooked in ground oven, and palau is a popular ethnic Indian dish.

END

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