#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fiji police threaten to arrest if subject of land is broached

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fiji police threaten to arrest if subject of land is broached

The United Coalition for a Democratic Fiji has been warned police will arrest anyone who raises the issue of land at tomorrow night's meeting in Nasinu.

The meeting at Rishikul College will go ahead at half past six but organisers have been told they are not allowed to talk about the land provisions in the regime's draft Constitution.

There has been wide conjecture about the regime's plans regarding iTaukei land since it revealed its own draft in February after last year rejecting one prepared by a five member Commission.

It's believed the illegal government of Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum plan to take control of indigenous land and there has been a huge outcry by iTaukei communities.

Little has been revealed by the regime about its plans for iTaukei land, even when it has been challenged about it in recent months, but there is fear it will use the Constitution to legalize its intention to usurp ownership.

Itaukei have already come out against such a notion with resistance growing as Bainimarama and Khayium try to claim the Laisenia Qarase government set the precedent when it sold native land to allow the stalled Momi Bay development to get underway.

In recent weeks the regime has tried to kill the land debate just as it has in the past when it knows citizens are fighting back, invoking the well-worn tactics of warning political parties and key leaders 'not to sow racial discord or create social divisions that might lead to unrest and damage the economy and the jobs of Fijian workers'.

Editor's Note: The graph below was used in our story on March 29 about the Coalition's first meeting and spells out where the 1997 Constitution, the Yash Ghai 2012 draft and the regime's 2013 draft, stand on land. As we said then: note the absence of details in the regime draft.

Chapter 13  Group Rights

Section 185  Alteration of certain Acts
(1) A bill alters any of the following Acts, namely:

(a) Fijian Affairs Act;
(b) Fijian Development Fund Act;
(c) Native Lands Act;
(d) Native Land Trust Act;
(e)Rotuman Act;
(f)Rotuman Lands Act;
(g)Banaban Lands Act; or
(h)Banaban Settlement Act:
including a Bill prepared in consequence of the enactment of this Constitution:

(i) must be expressed as a Bill for an Act to alter the Act concerned;
(j) must not be presented for the President's assent unless it has been read 3 times in each House and motions for the second and third readings are carried in each House; and

(k) is declined not to have been passed by the Senate unless at its third reading in that House it is supported by the votes of at least 9 of the 14 members of the Senate appointed under paragraph 64 (1)(a).

(2) A Bill that alters the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Act:

(a) must be expressed as a Bill for an Act to alter that Act; and
(b) must not be presented for the President's assent unless:

(i) it has been read 3 times in each House and motions for the second and third readings are carried in each House; and
(ii) at its third reading it is supported by the votes of at least two-thirds of the members of each House and, in the case of the Senate, by the votes of at least 9 or the 14 members of the Senate appointed under paragraph 64 (1)(a).

(3) The President must not assent to a Bill referred to in this section unless it is accompanied by a certificate of the Secretary-General to Parliament certifying that, in relation to the particular House, the approval required by this section has been given.

Section 186  Customary laws and customary rights
(1) The Parliament must make' provision for the application of customary laws and for dispute resolution in accordance with traditional Fijian processes.
(2) In doing so, the Parliament must have regard to the customs, traditions, usages, values and aspirations of the Fijian and Rotuman people.
(3) The Parliament must make provision granting to the owners of land or of registered customary fishing rights an equitable share of royalties or other moneys paid to the State in respect of the grant by the State of rights to extract minerals from the land or the seabed.
(4) A law fixing amounts under subsection (3) must require that account be taken of.
(a) any benefits that the owners are likely to receive as a result of the mineral exploitation;
(b) the risk of environmental damage;
(c) any legal obligation of the State to contribute to a fund to meet the cost of preventing, repairing or compensating for any environmental damage;
(d) the cost to the State of administering exploitation rights; and
(e) the appropriate contribution to the general revenue of the State to be made by the person granted exploitation rights.

Chapter  2––Our Natural Heritage

10.       The natural environment

Our island home is a rich and complex natural environment. Each of us now living here––
(a)        acknowledges the spirit in all living things;
(b)       accepts the responsibility to care for and preserve the natural environment;
(c)        bears  an  obligation  to  leave  a  clean  and  healthy  environment   to  future generations; and
(d)       undertakes to––

(i)         care for the air, the land, the water, and all living things within them;
(ii)        use resources in moderation, and replenish the land.

11.       Security of existing land rights
(1)     All  ownership  of  land,  and  all  rights  and  interests  in  land,  whether  freehold, customary or public, that existed immediately before the effective date of this Constitution, continue to exist under this Constitution.

(2)     The ultimate ownership of land held in customary ownership as of the effective date always remains with the customary owners of that land, and cannot be taken by any other person, or transferred or granted to any other person, except to the State in accordance with Article 37.

(3)     The State must not require the transfer  or grant of the ultimate  ownership  of any customary land except as a measure of last resort, preferring to enter into lease arrangements or other interests less than ultimate ownership.

(4)        Freehold land remains freehold when the title is transferred, even if transferred to the State.

(5)     Public land belongs to the people collectively  and is held by the State in trust for them.

12.       Principles of land use and environmental protection
(1)Security  of land  rights  must  be assured  for all legitimate  land holders,  users  and occupiers.

(2)     All foreshore land, being land between  mean low spring tide to mean high spring tide, is public land.

(3)     All land  and natural  resources  must  be protected  and managed  for the benefit  of present and future generations in a manner that––

(a)        promotes conservation; and
(b)       protects biodiversity, genetic resources and ecologically sensitive areas.

(4)    The State must employ effective systems of environmental impact assessment, environmental audit and monitoring of the environment.

(5)        The State may –

(a)        promote good land use; and
(b)     regulate  the  use  of  any  land,  or  any  interest  in  or right  over  any  land,  to promote public safety, public order, public health, or sound rural or urban development.

(6)     Land use planning laws, and procedures for granting permits, must require owners to provide reasonable notice to neighbouring owners and occupiers before undertaking any alteration in land use that may reasonably be anticipated to affect their rights or interests.

(7)     Land   administration,   including   land   records,   land   use   consultation,   planning, procedures for granting permits, and environmental  impact studies, must be participatory, transparent, accessible and cost effective.

13.       Fishing grounds and marine areas

Parliament must regulate rights of access to reefs, fishing grounds and similar marine areas, and take appropriate action to protect all marine areas.

14.       Natural resources

(1)     Policy, legislation and decision making relating to natural resources must be guided by the following principles:

(a)      Resource development and use must promote the social and economic benefit of the people.
(b)     State organs must keep the public informed and involved in decisions relating to resource policy and management.
(c)     Resource development permits should be granted on the basis of competitive tendering, unless there is a substantial reason to do otherwise.
(d)     The decision to approve, licence or otherwise permit any development should be made only after careful consideration of all foreseeable benefits and social, economic and environmental consequences.
(e)      All enterprises  engaged  in resource  extraction  must be required  to maintain best practice standards in contracting, operations, payments, transparency and accountability.

(2)        All minerals in or under any land or water, belong to the People and are held by the State in trust for the benefit of the People.

(3)     The owners of any particular land, or of any particular registered customary fishing rights, are entitled to receive an equitable share of royalties or other money paid to the State in respect of the grant by the State of rights to extract minerals from that land or the seabed in the area of those fishing rights.

(4)     An Act of Parliament may determine the framework for calculating equitable shares under clause (3), taking into account––

(a)      any benefits that the owners received or may receive as a result of the mineral exploitation;
(b)       the risk of environmental damage;
(c)     any legal obligation of the State to contribute to a fund to meet the cost of preventing, repairing or compensating for any environmental damage;
(d)       the cost to the State of administering exploitation rights; and
(e)  the appropriate contribution to the general revenue of the State to be made by any person granted exploitation rights.

15.       Duty to consult with respect to land and resources

(1)     If  any  project  is  proposed  to  develop  infrastructure,   or  to  develop  or  extract resources, on any land in a manner that may reasonably be anticipated to adversely affect the rights or interests of other persons or a community with respect to that land or any other land, the State and the proponent of the project have a joint duty, before licensing, permitting or undertaking that project, to ––

(a)      inform those persons or that community about the project in sufficient detail for the affected persons to assess the possible effects of the project on their rights and interests;
(b)     engage in constructive discussions with the affected persons to identify any reservations they may have about the effects of the project; and
(c)      seek  consensus  with  the  affected  persons  by  making  any  reasonable  and necessary modifications to the project to protect their rights and interests and accommodate their reservations.

(2)     State organs, when licensing or permitting a project, must impose conditions which, so far as reasonably possible, protect the rights and interests and accommodate the reservations of the affected persons with respect to the project.

(3)     The duty to consult, as set out in clause (1), continues while the project is underway, so long as it affects the rights or interests of other persons or communities.
16.       National  Consultative Land  Forum

(1)        Parliament must enact legislation to establish a National Consultative Land Forum. (2)             The Forum must––
(a)      be chaired by a person with knowledge of land law or land administration  in Fiji, who is not the holder of any public office, and not a representative of the interests of either landowners or tenants; and
(b)     otherwise  consist  of  an  equal  number  of  persons  drawn  from  each  of  the following three stakeholder groups:

(i)         State organs or enterprises engaged in land policy, land management or the administration of land law, including local government authorities.
(ii)     Land owners, with a balance between owners of freehold and customary land owners.
(iii)    Tenants, reflecting the diversity of urban and rural tenants, tenants of freehold, customary and public land, and agricultural, commercial and residential users.

(3)        The purposes of the National Consultative Land Forum are to––

(a)        educate the public on land ownership, land use and land administration;
(b)       research issues respecting land, land use and land administration;
(c)        convene  meetings  for  deliberation  of land  issues  in the  broader  social  and economic context, and seek to reach consensus on any such issue;
(d)       make  proposals   to  the  government   on  matters   of  policy   or  legislation concerning land and related institutions; and
(e)        review and express advisory opinions on policy or legislative proposals of the government with respect to land in accordance with Article 17.

17.       Protection and reform of land laws

(1)     Any policy or legislative proposal by the government with respect to land, land use or land administration,  must be referred  to the Chair of the National  Consultative Land  Forum  for  deliberation  and  report  by  the  Forum  before  being  adopted  or enacted.

(2)     The National Consultative Land Forum may make a unanimous report on any matter, or may make separate reports reflecting the divergent views of the three stakeholder groups within the Forum.

(3)        A Bill amending or repealing an Act listed in Schedule 2––
(a)        must be expressed as a Bill for an Act to amend or repeal the Act concerned;
(b)       may not be introduced in Parliament if the National Consultative Land Forum has unanimously rejected the Bill; and
(c)        to be enacted, requires the support of at least––

(i)         48 members of Parliament, if any one of the three stakeholder groups in the Forum has rejected it; or
(ii)        36 members of Parliament, if the Forum has issued a unanimous report in favour of the Bill.


Anonymous said...

Bainimagaitinamu and Aiyarsehole have already riled the iTaukei, and this is the last straw. My advice to them is, go ahead and see where that takes you lol

Anonymous said...

those 2 pigs probably want all that land so they can sell it to the chinese.well u kno what pigs usually end up dead

Utovou said...

If topics of interest to the audience is ruled taboo not to be raised at public meeting despite the fact that it is addressed in the proposed constitution...then we may ask whether the consultation is genuine??

Any topic the Govt is uncomfortable about should be clearly and honestly explained by the Govt to the people especially the affected parties and not be banned from discussion on the pretext that it may stir public disorder.....this is typical dictatorship ie they want to control our thinking and our discussion.

Suppression of rights to expression breeds suspicion and distrust....suggesting Govt wants to hide something the people do not accept.

People of Fiji we must all reject this illegal Govt.

Dis-enfrenchisement of Fijians to their land is potentially a landmine...it will anger indigenous Fijians who will surely revolt against it to everybody's detriment.

Dan said...

The Government is digging it'äs own grave if they try to surpress the land issue to be discussed.
A transparent and responsible government must facilitate opposing view,especially if they wanted the people to give their opinion.
The kaiviti attitude to land utilization may be considered backward in the name of development and economy; the wisdom behind it means our future generation could still enjoy the land...
Europe has learned from their mistake and is trying to rectify the damage being done to the enbironment...

Azad said...

Threats, bullying, persecution and prosecution are the means that the Baini governement has used to control and subjugate the people of Fiji. Unless and until the armed forces and the police stop supporting the Baini governemnt blindly nothing will change. Moreover, non-coperation by the public is another means by which the baini governemnt can be brought to heala dnneel.
But the big question is will the ITaukeis and others join forces or still be divided on racial & religiuos lines. I notice the existing parties: NFP, Labour and SDL are are still pandering to their old racist politics.

Anonymous said...

@Dan 4:06 PM

""The kaiviti attitude to land utilization may be considered backward in the name of development and economy; the wisdom behind it means our future generation could still enjoy the land...""

The problem is that so many leave their own land unutilised with the lazy excuse of leaving it for future generations but then move near the city, squat, live in shit and squalor and destroy and pollute the area with absolutely no concern for others or the future.

mark manning said...

The challenge has been set by the Regime itself!
Now is the time to bring forward the reality that is Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.
And that is, the theft of Ancestral Land Ownership in Fiji and the total annihilation all things indigenous.
Genocide by stealth.
It has taken Frank and his stupid Soldiers 6 1/2 years, but it has obviously been their goal since the outset.

The question is now, will Fijians take a stand?

BC said...

Ni vicai na sotia kaiviti. Cava takle ni se waraka tiko. Ni yavu sotia ululala.

BC said...

@Anonymous 4:51
You are obviously a dickhead arselicking regime supporter, devoid of all reasoning and logic.

If Fijians squat and live in shit like the Indians in the city area, then WHOSE FARKING PROBLEM IS IT?

It's not the Indian guy's problem that he is squatting.
It's not the Fijian guys problem that he is squatting.
It's the farking City Council problem.

That's their farking problem.

If I want to leave my land idle or my house un-rented etc etc IT IS MAY FARKING PROPERTY AND I CAN DO WHAT I LIKE WITH IT.

How about I come and take your house by force , because I don't like the way you keep your front lawn, you farking stupid idiot.
Would you like that?
Because that is the kind of stupid logic you REGIME ARSELICKERS show time after time. You are all farking stupid.

Anonymous said...

A famous quote from a long time ago goes...LAND is the only thing worth living for..LAND is the only thing worth fighting for..LAND is the only thing worth dying for!!!!..`cause LAND is the only thing that lives forever. You may have to anihilate the indigenous fijian race to have your way Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama.

Dan said...

@anon4:51 pm
I understand your point and frustration, I guess the key word is Balance...
Unwise uses of natural resources is costly... That is the fact..
Pollution for your infornation is the problem that is caused by both the rich and the poor... Factory owners the worst...

Anonymous said...

When a people is denied their right to petition the government peacably with their grievances, then that people have the right to revolution.

Let's defend our rights. Contact us at Dakuwaqa@hushmail.com

Anonymous said...

@Dan 7:54 PM

Point taken and agree that 'balance' is what's required.

As for pollution agree it's a problem within both the rich or should we say those trying to make max money from their business disregarding the enviroment and the poor.

But it's generally the poor that are shouting about the land cultural value which I support and at the same time polluting it needlessly.

The rich with the factories generally do not 'own' the land.

Anonymous said...

What is the illegal regime worried about instructing the police to arrest those who are discussing land issues. Land is the most talk about issues in any democracy and it is a valuable commodity in the iTaukei community. Why is money not prohibited to discuss since it is valuable to all of us and why discriminate the iTaukei community on this. Is Tudravu and Iowane know what are they doing for their own race? Are they I Taukei or have they been bought not to be i Taukei on this issue alone? Its a shame that you two cannot stand your ground on such issues important for your family and your own mataqali and vanuas.

Anonymous said...

@ annon 7:04pm...YEAH!! THATS FORTHCOMING..CRIMSON shall stain the GREEN clad robots and the world will witness the demise of approximately half a milliom souls.

Aggie said...

Why are land owners not allowed to talk about their land in such important meeting?

Anonymous said...

Roost..... Who is Rusiate and Ioane naivalurua.....aren't they Itaukei's...do they have land? They are so dumb like their puppet Frank....they don't know what is most sacred to us itaukei's. An Indian Muslim and elite muslims like nazhaat shameem, AZfzal Khan, Assyaz Khaiyum teling Frank what to do. I see these people walking past me in Suva & i want to vomit. They have destroyed our Fijian institutions and what is most dear to our itaukei hearts - our land. My advise - leave land alone Frankie Bainimarama and your idiot adviser AssYaz Khaiyum....."the land has eyes and can kill too"... To the chiefs of Fiji.....what are you doing.....pls stand up and be counted.....you have a duty bound obligation to your people now and future generations. Police and army officers - pls ni yadra mada.....stop being just followers and listen to this crap by Assyaz and Frankie.

rajend naidu said...

Fiji is still a Police State - 7 years after the coup to bring "true democracy"!

mark manning said...

Two questions need to be asked regarding the threat to arrest people speaking about Land ownership at tonight's meeting.
Who gave that instruction? To arrest people for speaking about Land Ownership etc.
What is, has been and remains, the goal of this Regime? Is it to once and for all, take absolute control of and ownership over, ancestral Land in Fiji?

A 3rd. question might be, what will Fijians do to stop No. 2 happening?

Anonymous said...

Threatening to arrest people for sharing their concerns about land is typical of Bainimarama bully tactics. They have used this intimidation tactic for the past six and a half years and will keep doing it until people rise up or pop one of them.

Anonymous said...

Leave our land alone. You criminal Khaium, stop standing over us, your days is coming around the corner. You such a bully, you shut your face and your idiotic mouth n head. You are the most wanted man in Fiji.

Anonymous said...

The muslim man has pushed the landowners to the limit. His plan is to destroy all our possessions. Raica ga na nona dokadoka na nona la'ki vosa tiko vei ira na noda ena vei koro. Me tu cake tu ga ka vosa tu vei ira, ni ra dabe kece tu nai taukei, E sa viavialevu dina. E vakacava koi kemuni na sotia kei na ovisa, ko ni kai vei koi kemuni.Sa levu dina na nomuni lialia, na kai Muslim oqori me mai vosa via-vialevu tu vei ira na noda. E sa ka ni veivakamaduataki dina na nomuni tovo.

Anonymous said...

Another of the facets of Fiji life this demented lot think they can put to rights.

Thieving Khaiyum will do many wrongs to the itaukei to supposedly fix the sins of the past.

In doing that he and Khaiyum are f!!@#$%^ the itaukei over big time.

Anonymous said...

no one should be surprised .this is the way shameless creatures do their dirty business.

itz said...

You guys touch the land and that is the end of you two...we are not afraid of the guns I am rest assured that the soldiers can't shoot a fellow country man...your end is near like Naiqama said before Chaudhary was ousted by Speight his parliamentary speech was;"It is the beginning of the end"