This Story Needs to be Told Over and Over Again

Racism Took Land Out of Production
 Macuata has suffered more than most provinces from the politically motivated non-renewal of land leases backed by extreme ethno-nationalists during the Qarase SDL time in government when there were so many stories of Native Land Trust Board officials urging iTaukei landowners not to renew leases to Indo-Fijians farmers, and promising government would compensate them for the loss of lease money.

Now, Macuata chief Ratu Aisea Katonivere is calling for new legislation on land use and land leases to "create an enabling environment for land use development."

Speaking on his submission to the Constitution Commission in Labasa earlier in the week, he acknowledged the contribution of the Indo-Fijian farmers, the effects of their forced relocation, and the vital role of agricultural ventures like sugarcane farming which he said was "the lifeblood in the North as it had been in the past decades."

One does not need to look any further to see the disastrous effects of politically-motivated racism on the Fiji economy.

Chief Acknowledges Indo-Fijian Contribution to the North
Ratu Aisea said most of the Indo-Fijian cane farmers were second, third or even fourth generation farmers who had tilled the land and supplied cane for the sugar industry and when their leases expired, they were left in limbo as debate took place in the political circles.

"Because the displaced farmers urgently needed sources of livelihood, they opted to relocate to other parts of the country and also ventured into other forms of farming. Their departure is a great loss
to the Northern economy as these are generations of cane farming families who have built our roads, fund raised for the establishment of some schools, erected businesses and provided employment opportunities to name a few. They were the ones who have worked to improve the way of life in their communities."

He requested the legislation that covered land leases be dealt with on a case by case basis whereby records of  the community contribution of individual farmers or families were evaluated and acknowledged.

"What better way to acknowledge their hard work than to renew their leases and allow them to do what they do best — cane farming, otherwise large patches of land that used to be productive will be left idle," he said.

Ratu Aisea is a paramount chief, Tui Macuata, and Chairman of the Macuata Provincial Council. He stood for the SDL party in 2001 but was beaten by the extremist CAMV party that came to exercise increased influence in the Qarase administration. He was one of 14 chiefs  in the Senate nominated by the Great Council of Chiefs.  More recently, he has been associated with conservation measures to protect the world's third largest coral reef that lies off the Macuata coast. 


Comments

but CROZ said…
But Croz he was part of the SDL - thats means he is corrupt. Surely you know the party (military) line by now. All things past bad all things future good (unless they go bad then they are blamed on the past). This chief is not military and not the future.
Anonymous said…
that's right the SDL are worst than hitler and the fijian military is like medecin sans frontier.
what a failure said…
croz
Between you, davis, smith johns and qorvis, junta PR has never been worse? It is not working old boy?
Crosbie Walsh said…
@ But Croz, Anon, What a failure ... Please ease back a little on the worn repeats about personalities, and address what was said in the posting. What do any of you think about what Ratu Aisea said regarding the Indo-Fijian contribution (agree? disagree? and need to bring land into production (agree? disagree?)

And "But Croz", I noted Ratu Aisea stood for the SDL in 2001 and in earlier postings have commented on the corrosive influence of the CAMV, active and disbanded, on SDL policies.
Anonymous said…
The most corrosive influence in Fiji is our passing parade of Attorney Generals.

As for influence, ever since 1977, the majority party has always taken the wind out of the sails of the ethno nationalists.

They have never needed to win a majority. In fact CMV members were confounded when QB and puppet Qarase suicidally pushed ahead with their policies to risk everything.

Isn't the present starting to look like a bad replay.
Anonymous said…
I despair when I read these types of comments - educated, enlightened iTaukei still don't see that it's not a zero sum game, it's not us-n-them. Please use the grey matter to the right ends. Why do you want to blame all your ills on the Indians who are also simply wanting to live a diginified life in a country that they have made!

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