FIJI OPPOSITION LEADER REDDY CONCERNED ABOUT FARMERS

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SUVA, Fiji (January 14, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Fiji's National Federation Party is considering buying land to re-settle farmers who will be displaced when their Agricultural Landlord and Tenants Act (ALTA) leases expire.

Opposition Leader Jai Ram Reddy announced the purchase possibility while meeting with party constituents in the Northern Division this week, The Fiji Times reports. But the lack of suitable land may cause problems, Reddy said, because most that is available already is being used by sugar cane farmers.

The NFP leader said buying suitable land is not a particularly viable option for the party now, and the possibility remains in the speculative stage only.

During his visit with party supporters, Reddy noted that there was general happiness about the resolution of Fiji's constitution crisis, and a similar hope exists regarding renewal of ALTA leases.

Meantime, Reddy has become the first Indo-Fijian to be accorded a full traditional Fijian ceremony of welcome at Nasekula village in Labasa.

The Tui Labasa, Ratu Tevita Qomate, welcomed Reddy to the village before holding discussions on the Agricultural Land Tenants Act issue.

Labasa MP Charan Jeath Singh called Monday's welcome "historic."

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