|Bainimarama at the opening of the Naitasiri Provincial Council meeting this week. pic Minfo|
Great irony emerging from the Naitasiri Provincial Council meeting in Kalabu this week, with the loaded question 'Should chiefs get higher lease payments?' popping up.
The Bose Vanua of Naitasiri has asked Frank Bainimarama to restore the old system of distributing the lease money, where high ranked individuals get a bigger share.
Bainimarama says Naitasiri will have to ask every member of their landowning unit if they agree to give more money to the chiefs stressing the 'government' is unlikely to change its mind.
Ironically, Bainimarama is not calling the shots as he or some loyalists still believe, especially where Fijian land is concerned.
That privilege was lost to him when he appointed Aiyaz Khaiyum attorney general and later still when he allowed himself to be convinced by Khaiyum that land is fundamental to Fiji's economic success.
In doing so he gave Khaiyum carte blanche to create the Land Bank, which quickly established a new system of rules to abolish the Native Land Trust Board and allow 'the State' exclusive proprietorship as established by the case Kanakana and others v State.
Bainimarama didn't see it (does he now?), but Khaiyum and his power circle - well aware that while Indians own 80 per cent of businesses, Fijians own 83% of the lands ... all of it held by the Native Land Trust Board - have their eye on Fijian land.
To achieve his goal, Khaiyum has had to remove the bureaucracy in the land tenure systems to allow more flexible provisions favouring foreign investments.
The Kanakana and others v State case of 2010 has now not only eliminated Native Title Rights but has empowered the Muslim Network considerable powers to legitimatise its actions to govern Fiji indefinitely.
In much of the recent information sighted by Coupfourpointfive, the Muslim Network is touted as a real threat to Fiji land ownership. Documents we have seen say the Network aims to control the mineral industry to further push landowners away by compensating them.
The instigator of it all of course is Khaiyum, and those following the play say he is driven by greed and hunger for power.
He had in 2003 put together a thesis paper (Cultural Autonomy) based on the supposed weakness of the Fijian separate administration system created by the Colonial Administration.
In that paper, he argued a Fijian can only be an 'economical driven race' and 'can only participate in development if they are submitted to the State through direct control and that the State should introduce legislative reforms to develop natives by establishing a dynamic and vibrant culture.'
The paper said the separate administration system has to be abolished if nation building, progress and peace are to be achieved. It also said the politics of the elite had caused the 1987 and 2000 coups.
Both were readily swallowed by Bainimarama.
Information shows the spirit of Khaiyum’s thesis is to create chaos through unlawful dismantling of indigenous institutions, authorities and aspirations - all of which the Bainimarama has allowed to happen.
His thesis, of course, attempts to create a system of rules to analytically neutralize the indigenous cause.
Look no further than the so-called equal distribution of lease aimed at weakening leadership and governance at communal level, which has led to chiefs being cut off from financial resources to administer the Vanua.
Our information shows Khaiyum knew he had to remove two stumbling blocks to get his hands on Fijian land - the Methodist Church and the Great Council of Chiefs. He failed to get the more militant church leaders ousted (note though Mosese Tikoitoga's threat: the Methodist Church is 'next') but succeeded in getting the GCC.