FIJI’S NATIVE LAND TRUST BOARD TEMPORARILY WITHDRAWS LAWSUIT

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FIJI’S NATIVE LAND TRUST BOARD TEMPORARILY WITHDRAWS LAWSUIT

SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 16, 2000 - Radio Australia)---Fiji’s Native Land Trust Board (NLTB) has temporarily withdrawn its lawsuit against the government over the lease legislation known as ALTA (Agricultural Landlord And Tenant Act).

The withdrawal was reportedly made at the request of the interim government.

As Radio Australia’s Ofa Kaukimoce reports, a board official has confirmed that negotiations are continuing with the government on the issue.

"The NLTB had challenged the government for alleged breaches of land ownership rights of the indigenous Fijians under the Deed of Cession, when Fiji was ceded to Great Britain in 1874.

"The NLTB argues that ALTA has stripped away their rights and allowed the unjust enrichment of tenants to the detriment of native landowners.

"The two parties have reportedly agreed on certain solutions to resolve the ALTA issue.

"A senior NLTB official explained that the necessary amendments are being made in the particular legislation, to have all native leases on agricultural land transferred to the Native Land Trust Act.

"He says the ALTA Legislation will remain so as to accommodate crown leases and freehold lands administered by the State.

"Ofa Kaukimoce, Radio Australia, Suva."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

 

CALL FOR COUNSELING FOR FIJI SOLDIERS

SUVA, Fiji Islands November 15, 2000 – Radio Australia)--A military welfare officer in Fiji has supported a call for a psychological and stress management department to be set up within military headquarters, to provide counseling for soldiers.

Radio Australia correspondent Ofa Kaukimoce reports that support for the recommendation has grown following the attempted mutiny at the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks early this month.

"A military welfare officer Lieutenant Waisale Soata says the experience of soldiers in a combat situation could affect their lives forever.

"Such combat situations according to Lieutenant Soata have been experienced in the Middle East and also during the capture of soldiers in Monasavu and Korovou after the May 19 coup, as well as during the attempted mutiny at the RFMF camp in Dela-i-Nabua.

"He says most of the after-effects would be felt at the age of 50 for most soldiers. Therefore they ought to be counseled by professional psychologists now, to allow for proper rehabilitation.

"The issue of establishing a counseling center for soldiers was first raised by Father Mario Cobona, a former member of the National Trauma team.

"Ofa Kaukimoce, Radio Australia, Suva."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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