Call to relook at amendment

iTaukei Land Trust Board

Landowners will be reluctant to give their acreage to the iTaukei Land Trust Board for leasing purposes if native land laws will continue to be easily amended in Parliament.

This was the view expressed by Opposition parliamentarian Peceli Vosanibola during debate on the 2021-2022 Appropriation Bill in the House recently.

“In Fiji, especially to the iTaukei, nothing is more important than land,” he said.

“That is the fulcrum around which Fiji revolves and majority of the landowners rely on the land for their livelihood, and it is a source of indigenous power, culture and identity.

“That is the golden asset to any landowner, and it is the heartbeat of our existence, and even becomes a sensitive issue when there is a dispute situation.”

Mr Vosanibola called on Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to relook at the amendment.

He also called for the Bill to be scrutinised by landowners through a consultation process.

“Although you may term it as ‘minor amendment’, but be cautioned, it is land and let us hear the voice and the views of the landowners and let us respect them.

“If in the future when native land laws are being amended easily through the Parliament corridor, I think the landowners will be reluctant in granting their lands with TLTB for leasing.”

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