World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Methodist Church Divided Over Support For Regime

Issue No: 84; 5 October 2000

The Methodist Church of Fiji is divided over its support for the interim regime.

This year's annual conference, held in Viseisei village in Vuda, heard the interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase inform it of the regime's Blueprint for the Advancement of Fijians and its plans for a new election.

The Methodist Church's President, Tomasi Kanailagi told the TV news earlier that the Church supported the interim regime. This statement came
before the matter was discussed by the Church.

The ethnic Indian division of the Church has distanced itself from the support which the Church has given to the interim regime. Today's Fiji Times reports the Divisional Superintendent, Anil Ruben telling Qarase:

"God has opened the door for us to evangelise and take salvation to the Indian people. Sir, you are a hero to our nation because we all have felt that God has chosen you to lead this nation during trying times."

Most other members of the Division questioned Ruben's claim that the ethnic Indian Division supported Qarase, and claimed that Ruben's statements were his personal views and not reflective of the congregations views.

The Methodist Church is the largest Christian denomination in Fiji, but its membership has been steadily declining since the 1987 military coups.

Issue No: 83; 5 October 2000

Regime incapable of handling land

The developments over the past weeks show that the interim regime is incapable of handling matters related to land leases.

Today the Fiji Times reported that the Native Land Trust Board is blocking the development of a $700m hotel project at Vulani Island off Nadi coast. The project is on state land for which the SVT government had given a lease to the developers. The NLTB is claiming that the land is owned by indigenous Fijian landowners.

In another development, the landowners in Tailevu have tried to close a government owned secondary school. The prestigious Ratu Kadavulevu School, which caters for the indigenous Fijian students, is on land for which the landowners are claiming compensation. A meeting scheduled for yesterday (4 October) to discuss compensation payments between the landowners and the NLTB failed to take place because the NLTB General Manager Maika Qarikau failed to turn up. Qarikau was a key supporter of terrorist George Speight. The school is still closed 4 days after the new term began.

Meanwhile, interim Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase told the Methodist Church annual conference yesterday that all native owned land will be taken out of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenants Act (ALTA) and placed under the Native Land Trust Act. ALTA, brought in by then Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara in1977, protected the tenants and the landowners interests, while NLTA has no such protection. 83% of all land in Fiji is owned by indigenous Fijians.

Hundreds of largely ethnic Indian tenant farmers have been evicted from their farms because of non-renewal of land leases and a lack of a state plan to resettle the evictees. Many evictees are finding their way to refugee camps.

END

5 October 2000.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Tale Of Two Pandemics: Follow The Science And Do Not Forget One At The Cost Of The Other

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV... More>>


UN: Rights Chief Calls For Prompt Release Of Protestors Held In Cuba
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called for the prompt release of protestors and journalists detained during anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, some of whom are being held incommunicado... More>>



Scarce Goods: Isolating Daraa Al-Balad Threatens 40,000 With Starvation

The siege imposed by the Syrian government forces on Daraa al-Balad since June 24 would lead to serious humanitarian repercussions if it continues, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement on July 15, calling for lifting the siege urgently and allowing the entry of basic humanitarian supplies... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs



Shaping The Future Of Food Systems: Thousands Commit To Dialogues Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 130 governments are making food systems a top priority amid the pandemic and committing to an unprecedented programme of Dialogues in the run up to the UN Food Systems Summit in September... More>>

UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>


UN: Next 18 Months Seen As Pivotal In Global Efforts To Achieve Key Goals

Next 18 months seen as pivotal in global efforts to reverse punishing pandemic impacts and boost actions to achieve key goals - Even as pandemic erases decades of gains in development, response efforts show signs of renewed global commitment to accelerate SDG progress... More>>