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One body for land

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, August 30, 2014

FIJI United Freedom Party leader Jagath Karunaratne wants resource and landowners in the Nadroga Navosa Province to adopt the party's manifesto of having an overall body of landowners, State and investors to address land issues.

Mr Karunaratne met landowners from the Nadroga and Navosa areas in Sigatoka to speak on the party's land polices.

"Before politics came into the picture I was learning about the traditional landowning units and the ownership of resources for a number of years," he said.

"I wanted to bring together landowning groups, investors and the State so that these different groups could work together.

"I found out they already have separately, each group had their own entities which have been in existence for more than 40 years but the only thing that they have not included was the idea of bringing them together.

"For example, the Viti Landowners and Resources Association was focusing within their own means and they did not look outside of their group.

"What we are trying to do is merge this group with the investors and authorities.

"We already have a structure and an administration in place. We want to bring these systems together so it can be more useful to people in the grassroots level."

Supporting Mr Karunaratne was chairman of the Nadroga Navosa Resource Development and Management Group Ratu Osea Gavidi.

Addressing more than 100 villagers, Ratu Osea said while the government had allowed for more investor opportunities, more could be done to assist landowners and resource owners.

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