FIJI LANDOWNERS PROTEST, DEMAND COMPENSATION

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SUVA, Fiji (June 29, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Police and military forces are on alert in Fiji following a violent clash at the power station near Monasavu Sunday. The power station is the subject of a long running land dispute, Radio Australia reports.

An office building was burned down causing $AUS 1 million ($US 607,000) damage. Police found fuel cans near the scene of the fire but it is not clear who started the blaze.

Police reinforcements went to Monasavu Sunday night and the Fiji Military Forces are on standby. Police say they will be questioning some prominent figures about the incidents, including politicians and lawyers. According to a police spokesperson, the landowners are being stirred up by what he called "politically ambitious people."

Landowners involved in the protest outside the Monasavu plant are pressing for compensation for the use of their land.

The electricity supply was not been affected by the fire.

 

FIJI ULTRA-NATIONALISTS TO BE INTERVIEWED

SUVA, Fiji (June 30, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Police in Fiji have confirmed they will interview two ultra-nationalist political figures in relation to Sunday's fire at a hydro-electricity station.

The fire broke out during a protest at the Monosavu power station by local land-owners seeking compensation for the use of their land.

Police say they will question Sakeasi Butadroka and MP Kavekini Navuso. The two men are well known for their stance against the Fiji Government's multi-racial policies, and have been acting as advisors to the Monosavu landowners.

The fire has created a political crisis -- and police and the Fiji Military Forces are on alert.

The Monosavu plant provides about 90 per cent of Fiji's electricity needs.

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