#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Mara land acquired for Fiji Sugar Co-operation

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mara land acquired for Fiji Sugar Co-operation

Acquired by the regime: Seaqaqa estate
While identity is getting air time and being widely debated, the vanua is what the Constitution Commission has been lobbied on the most.

Chair Yash Ghai says 95 per cent of the submissions have concerned the land, telling the Fiji Times the Commission would need to carry out its own investigations 'to get all the facts right before we can make a decision' and 'ensure that land ownership and tenure became an inclusive economic institution in Fiji.'

Kamisese Mara
Commission member Penelope Moore subsequently told Fiji Times 'they had realised that there was a lot of cheating on how land had been utilised for commercial and non-commercial purposes.'

According to the Fiji Times: 'Ms Moore said from their own observations through the submissions made so far, a lot of decisions were made without proper consultation.'

It will be interesting to see the submissions and what agreements are being challenged but one recent deal involving the regime and the Fiji Development Bank is already out in the public arena - bar a pertinent fact - who had owned the land.

The regime last week revealed Cabinet had agreed for 'the Land Use Unit to purchase the idle repossessed Seaqaqa Sugarcane Estate' from the FDB for $700,000 using its Land Bank Investment portfolio.

In a release it said Cabinet also agreed it be 'leased and utilised by the Fiji Sugar Cooperation for profitable sugarcane farming under the Land Use Decree.'

Sources revealed to us what media didn't relay to the public - that the land belonged to the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and had previously produced sugar under the management of the Mara children.

When Mara died in 2004, the estate was managed and looked after by Roko Ului Mara and one of his sisters. Both kept all the workers on the estate and they were producing up to 1000 tonnes.

Fiji Development Bank moved in to take over the estate after a default on payments of a loan that was used to buy machinery and plants to run it.

Coupfourpointfive understands Roko Ului and his siblings lost interest two years ago and Seaqaqa was left idle.

According to the regime statement last week, Cabinet based its decision to acquire Seaqaqa 'on a submission by the Prime Minister and Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Voreqe Bainimarama.'

It said Bainimarama recognised 'the Seaqaqa Sugarcane Estate has a huge potential to be developed into a viable farm through effective and efficient farm management' adding he said 'it was in line with the intentions of the Government to utilise idle land more productively under Pillar 6 of the People’s Charter.'

Did Bainimarama decide to acquire Seaqaqa as a show of strength against the 'elites' that he keeps blaming for Fiji's woes? Land, as he and we all know, will stir people even more than the issue of who qualifies to be called Fijian.

Another interesting case pointing to the anomalies under the reign of the regime: a court decision last month against a company trying to claim $5000 from Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited. The company lost because the Mahogany Decree 2012 prohibits any court action against Fiji Hardwood:

Fiji Hardwood Corporation Ltd v Lumber Processors (Fiji) Ltd [2012] FJMC 182; Civil Action 53.2009 (31 July 2012)
Civil Action No 53/2009

Plaintiff - Ms Rakai (Sherani & Co)
Defendant - Mr Singh (Parshotam & Co)

1. The counsel for plaintiff by her inter parte notice of motion dated 14th December 2011 made an application to strike out the counter claim of the defendant which was filed on 21st August 2009.

2. The plaintiff's claim in this matter is about balance monies owing by the Defendant for the Mahogany logs supplied and delivered. The Defendant filed a counterclaim stating that the Plaintiff failed to issue proper invoices and additionally that a proper reconciliation was not carried out. The Defendant counterclaimed for overpayment of $ 5,210.39 from the Plaintiff.

3. Plaintiff submits that the counter claim should be struck-out as it falls within the preview of Mahogany Industry Development Decree 2010.

4. The Court was benefited by the comprehensive written submission filed by both parties of the case. Plaintiff filed this action in March 2009. Mahogany Industry Development Decree 2010 was gazetted on 12th March 2010.

5. Section 5(2) in Schedule 4 of the Decree sates as follows,

(2) Any proceeding to which this paragraph applies that was commenced but not determined immediately before the commencement of this Decree is upon the commencement of this Decree wholly terminated, and a certificate to that effect must be issued by the Chief Registrar to the parties.

6. Section 5(1) identifies the matters that have effect of this paragraph.

5.-(1) This paragraph applies to any proceedings in a court in which proceedings-

(a) any claim is made to the effect that or on the assumption that a grant or assignment, or purported grant or assignment, of lease to which paragraph 2(2) of this Schedule applies was not validly made;

(b) any claim is made in respect of the use of mahogany plantation land of the kind mentioned in paragraph 3 of this Schedule;

(c) any claim is made for loss of the kind mentioned in paragraph 4(2) of this Schedule;

(d) any claim is made against Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited in respect of an agreement for the sale or supply of mahogany timber, regardless of whether the claim relates to any matter to which paragraphs 2 to 4 of this Schedule apply, or any relief or remedy is sought in respect of any such claim.

7. Pleadings of the Defendant show that there had been an agreement with the Plaintiff for supply of certain standard mahogany logs to him. Therefore I am of the view that the counter claim stems from an agreement to sale or supply Mahogany timber. Hence section 5(1)(d) applies to the counterclaim of the Defendant.

8. The Defendant argues that if it (the Decree) has any application to his counterclaim then the proceeding should be wholly terminated. The section 5(2) states that 'Any proceeding to which this paragraph applies that was commenced but not determined immediately before the commencement of this Decree is upon the commencement of this Decree wholly terminated, and a certificate to that effect must be issued by the Chief Registrar to the parties'. But On the other hand Plaintiff states that it should only apply to the counterclaim.

9. At this juncture it is prudent to illustrate more on an action of 'Counterclaim' by a Defendant of a civil action.

10. A Defendant who alleges that he has any claim or is entitled to any relief or remedy against Plaintiff in any action in respect of any matter, whenever and however arising, may make a counterclaim in respect of that matter instead of bringing a separate action. If therefore the Defendant has a valid cause of action of any description against the Plaintiff there is no necessity for him to bring a separate cross-action, and the rules relating to the joinder of causes of action apply in relation to a counterclaim as if the counterclaim were a separate action and as if the person making the counterclaim were the Plaintiff and the person against whom it is made a defendant.

11. For all practicable purposes, a counterclaim is a cross action, and not merely a defence to the Plaintiff's claim, although of course it must be of such a nature that the Court would have jurisdiction to entertain it as a separate action. Thus it has an independent life of its own, unaffected by anything which relates solely to the plaintiff's claim, and, once it has been made, a counterclaim may be proceeded with notwithstanding that judgement is given in the action or that the action is stayed, discontinued or dismissed.[Halsbury's Laws of England- Vol 37 Practice & Procedure]

12. Therefore I note that the counterclaim of the Defendant is another fresh claim against the Plaintiff of this case.

13. The view of this Court is that the counterclaim of the Defendants falls within the requirements of section 5(1)(d) Schedule 4 of Mahogany Industry Development Decree 2010.

14. However the Defendants further submits that the Court has no power under Order 26 Rule 1 of the Magistrate' Court Rules to strike out a claim. The Rule deals with interlocutory applications. Defendant points out that only the High Court has such discretion to strike out an action under Order 18 Rule 18(1) (b). View of this Court is that a mere technical objection cannot cover a situation when a substantive law clearly stipulate provisions for terminating the action. The magistrate's Court is empowered by the Magistrate's Court Act to make orders on equity.

15. For the forgoing reasons I hold that the proceedings on the counterclaim is terminated under section 5(2) schedule 4 of the Decree as the matter was commenced before the commencement of the said Decree.

16. Therefore now I refer this matter to the Chief Registrar to issue a certificate to that effect.

17. No orders for cost.

Yohan Liyanage
Resident Magistrate
31st July 2012


Anonymous said...

If the magistrate's court is empowered by the Magistrates Court Act to rule on issues of equity, then why did it ignore equity in this case? Equity and simple justice demand that the defendant retain the right to bring a counterclaim against the plaintiff for relief or remedy. Justice must apply to all or it applies to none.

Also, the fact that the magistrate court has no power to strike out a counterclaim is no 'mere technical objection' but a fundamental question regarding the very validity of the proceedings.

As usual, the regime wins. Due process for the people of Fiji loses.

Radiolucas said...

@ Anon

A very valid point - the principle of equity are the basis of all property transactions - what is right and equitable is often what the courts look to in construing any contract or debt dispute.

And that is what is wrong with the regime today - they have no interest in what is right, just or equitable - only what is "right" for them.

Justice to be done must be seen to be done - and there has been precious little of that in the past six years - they won't even listen to their own judgements!

Anonymous said...

I cannot help but note that some people are more equal than others! It is really pathetic.

The types of decrees that disallows any court action against certain Government decisions tells us the grassroot people of Fiji that the Government can perform injustices to the people but the people have no recourse of action to use the same justice system to address what they believe is illegal action by Government.

It is a blatant statement that only Government can break the laws but the people cannot challenge this any where.

Phil Goff Ask? said...

New Zealand opposition warns Fiji that re-engagement works both ways

Posted at 02:21 on 24 August, 2012 UTC

The foreign affairs spokesperson for New Zealand’s opposition Labour party says Fiji’s re-engagement with the Pacific Islands Forum needs to go both ways.

Fiji’s interim leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama says the Forum, from which Fiji is suspended, has used its influence to bar Fiji from participation in other international groups.

He has told Pacific leaders gathered in Nadi ahead of next week’s Forum leaders’ summit, that Fiji will dine at the table and is not content to pick at crumbs once decisions are made.

The Labour Party’s Phil Goff says the question that will be asked next week is if the 2014 elections will be free and fair.

“I think we have to engage with Fiji. We have to promote and encourage it to do the right thing by its people. Respect their human rights, respect the right to free speech, to have an independent judiciary and a free media. So engagement is important, but we need to be very careful that all the movement is not simply from the side of the Forum, and there is no reciprocation from within Fiji itself.”

Phil Goff says Fiji needs to be aware that if its promises aren’t delivered on, there are consequences.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

Anonymous said...

@Anon 24th August 1:58

Equity is overidden by statue (or as in our case Decree's from the Decree factory masquerading as "AG's office" , whether rightly or wrongly is of course a seperate issue altogether because one cannot challenge that either, rule of law notwithstanding. Its a nice little imbroglio)

Anonymous said...

we can see how frank and khaiyum running fiji affairs .
fijian taken for ride by this crook juntas.
why is frank trying to punish past leaders.
where is justice now.
fijian land been given to china mans and others .
where is transparent and good accountable govt promised in 2006 by coup makers..
only talk but no action.

Seaqaqa Farner said...

What a good yarn,
The land purchased is the 11,000 acre old NLDC land at Tikilo,
the late Mr Stanley Simpson produced in excess of 24,000 tons of cane from the Seaqaqa estate.

This is the same land that Tanila Tabu's Viti civil servants also lost money on.

If the land bank bought the Mara farms for $700,000 then FDB should be laughing all the way to the bank!!!

Kai Bau said...

Chair Yash Ghai says 95 per cent of the submissions have concerned the land, I wonder what the ratio of that 95%.Its going to be easy to predict what the submissions are about.Fijians want their lands to be protected and to get market rate for it and Indians will want the lease to be 99years or the goverment should be responsible for dealing with the indigenous land ie for them to lease the lands with the monkeys favourite snacks pay the indigenous landowners with peanuts.

Anonymous said...

Its good farm taken back by FDB. If Mr Stanley could produce 24000 tonnes how come Roko Ulai Mara only 1000 tonnes.

Let's not protect Ulai for the sake of it. He was part of the regime and ran away to safe himself. He is now relaxing in Tonga and moves to Aust Nz and USA freely. He has no reason to fight for you all.

Anonymous said...

End of the Mara dynasty under Fiji's new ruler Emperor Aiyaz Sayed Kaiyum.

Anonymous said...

It's only fair that if any one defaults and has no capacity to pay a lender, then the mortgaged property has to be sold?
Ratu Uluru Mara could not even safeguard his dads property and took off- a lamu sona.
Make use of idle land to best use.

Anonymous said...

Statutes, and much less illegal decrees, cannot be unilaterally applied to deprive one party in a suit of its rights whilst the other party is allowed to maintain all of its. They have an equal right to the protection of the state. They have an equal right to due process. It is not due process when one side can press a suit but the other side cannot.

Anonymous said...

'The Government can perform injustices to the people but the people have no recourse of action to use the same justice system to address what they believe is illegal action by Government'.

This is a classic justification for revolution.

Anonymous said...

REALLY, did RUM got sidetracked or
did he skipped bail and country? Was the land in question a freehold land or was it a native land lease?
If it was a native reserve land lease,shouldn't it be returned to the Mataqali or Yavusa
instead of to the Regime land bank?
If it was a freehold land than the Regime is doing the right thing by
enforcing the law? I wonder why it wasn't tendered? I would have put up the money to buy that piece of

Anonymous said...

Bainiceke and his illegitimate son Aiyarse are taking Fiji to the dogs.

Ratunaca said...

What a shame. This is just a show of force as they know they have the power to do anything right now. They're making decree after decree to protect themselves. I say let's just wait and see as to how far these land bank thing will go. Come on people, landowners wake up before it's too late. You own the land, cultivate the bloody thing and earn a decent living from your sweat. I'm sure the last thing we want is for our children and their children growing up being vulagi's in their homeland without any land to cultivate let alone own! Sa dri yani.

Bound for Jericho said...

The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage. The secret of courage is faith.

Operation Jericho, Downtown Suva, Wednesday, 26 September, precisely 7:00 p.m.

Prepare to make a joyful noise.

Kamlesh Kumar-Mission Bay, NZ said...

90% of Land are native lands? Why then itaukeis are frightened of losing land to the Fiji-Indians?
The lands which were consficated during Nationalist Governments of Rabuka and Qarase are mostly unproductive now.eg Veisaru, Koronubu, Tagitagi,etc. The Nationalists acquired these lands on high hopes but it backfired on them. What is the purpose of having land when it is unutilisd and unproductive? On one hand they regard themselves as Christians but n real life they practice unchristian practices. The nationalists have milked Fiji-Indians for the last 50 years and this should stop. What Fiji Indians want is "Nationlists repartriating them" so that they can have better fiture for themselves and their children. I can gurantee that in ten years my Fiji Indian brothers and sisters will be better of then what they are now in racist Fiji. Let Fiji be theirs. What have they achieved from 1987?

mark manning said...

Let me be the Devil's advocate here if I may !
So I am born in Fiji, I'm not an Indigenous Fijian because my parents, both of them, are European by descent. Consequently, through no fault of my own, I'm not automatically entitled to any land in Fiji, unless I lease it or buy it freehold etc.
Despite Indigenous Fijians sharing their land with me and my family, I remain disgruntled and not satisfied and decide to plot against those very same people, to take away from them, that which they once shared with me and my family, their land !!
Now a few questions hang over my head, why didn't I just pack up and leave to start a new life in a new Country or accept the status quo ?
And why can't I just acknowledge the Indigenous Fijians generosity and respect their right to that which is theirs ?

Anonymous said...

Where is the Idiot Proff Dr Silly Yukt None-Done ???---I am missing him !!--the publicity seeker wine swiping swine !!

Kai Bau said...

To Kamlesh Kumar-Mission Bay,NZ
Thats fair enough but you tell me how many percentage of land in your mother land Indian owned by lower caste Indians and poor Indians?.For us Fijian ,land is something that we are identified with weather you are poor ,uneducated or what ever we still have the right to eat and farm from our land.This is what I have been telling my fellow indigenous Fijians,....just because of those western ways of braining washing.... like eating a piece of bread with butter and jam doest mean that you are better than me eating my cassava and bele.The one that will end up in hospital is the one thats by western way of thinking is rich eating bread and butter.
Even the Maori's in NZ are fighting for their rights to the waters in the river where you are getting your electricity from.. you idiot.We will come to that soon... mind you.You been in NZ and yet you turn a blind eye in what the Maori's are fight for and yet trying to target us the indigenous here.Even the people in NZ(ie the Caucasians or whites) are protesting about those big Chinnese companies purchasing large farming lands in there and yet you want to bring your piece of shit pin pointing us the indigenous Fijians.Christinity is just the same as Hindusm ie to treat everyone fairly,how come there are poor people in Indian?Our land are not only for us its for our children's children's.... if its left idle its none of your business to poke your nose on to it.If you dont like to be milk by the Nationalists than go back to where you come from.We the indigenous people never part take in your transportation from Indian to Fiji but we lend (lease) you our lands that was left idle for our childrens.Isn't that enough for you? its better to be in Fiji rather than begging on the streets in Tamilnadu and that was the very reason your grandfather choose to work as a slave for the CSR for an extra years and get Fijian Citizenship.....You cant get that cheap citizenship from any where else in the world.Sorry Kamlesh your problem is not our fault better dig your grandfathers grave and ask him those unanswerable question.Anyway you must remember that Fiji is my paradise ..what about Indian?

Anonymous said...

@Kamlesh Kumar-Mission Bay, NZ,

It is a basic principle in life learned through natural human instinct that can be easily understood by a child-It is just a universal knowledge.

You came to ask for a land to lease. I gave it to you with a condition that my property will be returned to me after the term agreed. Now it seems that you are trying to manipulate me by demanding that I have to extend your lease because you have produced many many tons of sugarcane and through my land you were were able to send your daughters and son to NZ like you. And on many occasions by the way you at times chased me out of my land when i asked to collect bread fruits, dawa, ivi etc planted by my forefathers. I will always remind my sons NOT to renew your lease because of that kind of Indian attitudes.

I have not heard any Indo Fijian to acknowledge and appreciate the land owners of Viti for their generosity but instead spread rumors that Fijians are lazy people in return. If I rent an office space in town or rent a house I will never work against the landlord because it is not just right.

I suggest that you take a deep breath and pause for a moment ....that you are so fortunate to be in Fiji and land of milk and honey.

The choice is yours either you stay and be a guest in Fiji or migrate to India, China, no not in NZ and Aussie because the Maoris and the Aboriginals will also one day chase you out if do not respect the First Nations in their God given homeland.

Anonymous said...

Kamlesh, your posting is full of spelling mistakes, and that says a lot about your intelligence, or lack of. Geez dumb ass, no one said anything about repatriating Indians to where they come from. Stop inciting racism because you're living in NZ, and that is not your country. Perhaps you could repatriate yourself to Fiji first and repeat what you said above, if you have the guts.

Since you're in NZ, what can you say about the Maoris claiming land and pushing for ownership of water? Shut your mouth because you don't know what you're talking about dumbshit.

Matai T said...

It was Ratu Mara, who was behind the 1987 Coup by Sitiveni Rabuka. The deal was that Rabuka to hand down the power within a week after overthowing the Bavadra Govt, to Mara.

However, Power in wrong hands is always devastating, as Rabuka refused to release his control over the country to Ratu Mara.

Sharon Suaniu said...

Well said Kai Bau. Fijians are educated now Kamlesh and can see indian thieving and conniving. You can see it when walking through the streets of Suva. The indian beggars always kerekere the taukeis but ignore their kind. They know that taukeis are good natured and can give easily, they've been easily giving for last century. So the indians do not corvet thy neighbours land, move on when lease expires.

Anonymous said...

I think all this talk and bullshit about decree's and aiyaz and baini being unfair and who should we citizen of Fiji should be called or how big your loan or your land your balls are and how unfair the and fair the court system in Fiji, is all smarty pants talk.

The real issue is the Fiji Military Forces carried out a coup and we should be rallying Fiji Citizens and lobbying foreign countries and human rights related organization to pressure this Military so called interim government to return democratic rule.

This arguements on how smart you are or who knows more just goes to show how an idiot vesumona everyone in Fiji to take over elected government.

Anonymous said...

Kamlesh kumari is quiet today, perhaps she's standing on K'rd working.

Anonymous said...

In today's Davis Fiji Sun, government propagandist Davis has confirmed that FB took over the government through a military coup and abrogated the 1997 constitution.

Please keep this news paper for the record when pursuing the treason charges for the big 12.

4.Shamim sisters
can you add the rest.

Anonymous said...

@7:18 PM, my own rough reckoning:

1. Bainimarama - treason, murder, arson, criminal conspiracy, torture, plunder, obstruction of justice, incitement, extortion, abuse of office, grand larceny, fraud, etc. - death by hanging.
2. Khaiyum - treason, criminal conspiracy, plunder, obstruction of justice, abuse of office, extortion, incitement, grand larceny, fraud, etc. - death by hanging.
3. Gates - treason, criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, etc. - death by hanging, commuted to life imprisonment.
4. Nailatikau - treason, criminal conspiracy, gross dereliction of duty, etc. - death by hanging, commuted to 10 years.
5. N. Shameem - treason, criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, incitement, etc. - death by hanging, commuted to 20 years.
6. Mara - treason, criminal conspiracy, arson, torture, incitement, etc. - life imprisonment, commuted to 10 years.
7. Driti - treason, criminal conspiracy, arson, torture, incitement, etc. - life imprisonment, commuted to 15 years.
8. Aziz - treason, criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, incitement, etc. - death by firing squad, commuted to 20 years.
9. Qiliho - treason, criminal conspiracy, arson, torture, incitement, etc. - death by firing squad, commuted to 20 years.
10. Tikoitoga - treason, criminal conspiracy, incitement, etc. - 10 years.
11. Nur Bano Ali - criminal conspiracy, plunder, falsification of documents, grand larceny, fraud, etc. - 15 years.
12. Mahendra Chaudhry - treason, criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, grand larceny, fraud, etc. - 5 years.
13. Graham Davis - treason, criminal conspiracy, etc. - 10 years.
14. S. Shameem - treason, criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, etc. - 10 years.
15. Smith-Jones - criminal conspiracy, etc. - deportation
16. Pryde - criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, etc. - deportation
17. Naivalurua - obstruction of justice, gross dereliction of duty, abuse of office, etc. -  10 years.
18. Teleni - treason, criminal conspiracy, gross dereliction of duty, incitement, etc. - death by firing squad, commuted to 15 years.
19. Vayeshnoi - treason, criminal conspiracy, grand larceny, fraud, etc. - 15 years.

Anonymous said...

11,000 acreas of NLDC land? Was that translated into "Native Land Development Corporation"? Was the land outside of Native Reserve Land? If the move was to developed
Fijian land outside of the reserved areas, then why did the Mara clan took these large portion?
Why couldn't these piece of real estate be portioned-off to Fiji Citizens, whose leases were refused renewals etc?
Was the former PM&President trying to become a Fijian Millionier or was he only trying to make his children
live comfortable after hes gone?

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 8.50a.m.

What about the people's money that the regime has stolen? what will you do about that? Esp. those two pryde and smithjons that you plan to send home. lol, tobo tale tu o vandamme.

Anonymous said...

Hey Militoni, you gotta come down man,look first off you're
beating the Karasini dramu at the wrong time man?
O Dakuwaqa said September 26 is the date to start that Jerico stuff, although he hasn't said what year?
So Dakuwaqa is just as bad as these crooked politicians, he's got the year missing in his notes,-why? Is it a trick?
We'll all that rackets you were doing for one hour was pretty
decent ,i think?
But the police that came by for a visit didn't think so?
They thought that i was the one doing it,but i said that i didn't know who was beating the drum, so they try to get nasty with me.To their surprise, i yanked
out my 9 inched DUNA and started to
weezed at their legs, they thought that the old man was going crazy, so they all get back and decide they had enough, so they pissed off
but said that they'll be back? Yeah
right? Now remember guys keep it in mind,its the 26 of september at
7pm, don't know what year!So keep in mind we gotta do this right? so
gather all you kava ni bisikete and dramu ni karasini and banged on
that frieken things for 60 second.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:51, don't worry what year. Let's do Jerico at the same time every year that Bainimarama is in power.

Unless we do it right the first time, that could be for a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:39, I think I know the answer to that one. The new government of Free Fiji will confiscate and sell off all of their assets. Since Pryde and Smith-Johns are not citizens of Fiji, they could be deported at the behest of their governments. On the other hand, better they were imprisoned. Anyway, their own governments might not be too anxious to bring them home.

The end to dictatorships often comes suddenly. Look for Pryde to flee to New Zealand as soon as things begin to crumble. After all, you know what they say: "Pryde goes before the fall."