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No fear over land, Bainimarama assures iTaukei

Shalveen Chand
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

PRIME Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama has hit out at politicians whom he claims are spreading lies as a campaign strategy.

"I am calling on all Fijians to reject the underlying message of suspicion and fear that some politicians have brought to this election campaign. It is a cancer that threatens the unity of our nation and all the progress we have made. It is a cancer that must be destroyed," said Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama as he opened the new Public Rental Board flats in Raiwai yesterday.

"Some are fighting this election claiming to protect the interests of the iTaukei. Yet the truth is that it protects the interests of a self-serving elite rather than the interests of ordinary iTaukei and some of its leading figures have a record that is shameful.

"The people who converted native land to freehold using a legal loophole and lost it forever, now have the audacity to portray themselves as the defenders of iTaukei land. The truth is my government closed the loophole the previous governments allowed to betray the iTaukei people."

He said native land was safe and protected in the Constitution unlike what was told to people.

"The power of the iTaukei to decide how they spend the money they get from the land they lease, some want to turn back the clock and disempower ordinary people. As you all know, I gave the lease money direct to ordinary people, individually and equally, to decide for themselves how it is spent. But now some politicians want to take it back and restore the power of the chiefs to decide how it is spent," he said.

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