FIJI PRIME MINISTER CHAUDHRY SPEAKS ON LAND ISSUES

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 11, 1999 – Fiji Broadcasting Commission)---Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry says Fiji’s future cannot be secure if issues like the expiring leases under ALTA (Agriculture Land and Tenant Act) are not resolved.

Speaking at the Fiji Day celebrations in Lautoka this morning, he said the Native Land Trust Board and the Government are obliged to resolve issues that are likely to bring division within communities in the country.

Chaudhry added that the NLTB and the Government, together with the Great Council of Chiefs and landowners, should determine how native lands can be put to productive use for the benefit of the landowners and the nation as a whole.

"We all have a joint responsibility to find a solution that would best serve the combined interest of the landowners, the tenants and our whole country.

"Today I want to remind us of what Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna said to the Bose Levu Vakaturaga in 1936 when speaking to them on the use of native land," the Prime Minister said.

" ‘We cannot in these days adopt an attitude that will conflict in the welfare of those who like ourselves wish only to live peacefully and increase the wealth of the colony.

" ‘We are doing our part here and so are they, we wish to live, they do the same. If other communities are poor, we too remain poor. If they prosper, we also will prosper.’ "

For additional reports from The Fiji Broadcasting Commission, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources/Fiji Live.

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