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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 29) – Landowning unit members of Naudrau in Delaikoro, Labasa, Fiji, have demanded that authorities leasing their land pay up within the next six days or face being shut out.

The Fiji Electricity Authority and Telecom Fiji Limited have leased the Naudrau land for the past 25 years.

Landowning unit spokesperson Akei Kamo said the two companies owe the landowners a total of FJ$11, 531.35.

The lawyer representing the landowners, Niko Nawaikula, said it was sad that big companies like Telecom and FEA could not pay up for using the land.

Mr Nawaikula said he would follow up with the Native Land Trust Board to ensure that the landowners were given what the two companies owed them.

NLTB media liaison officer Nimilote Naivalumaira said the two companies should pay up and he has advised the landowners to seek assistance from its northern office on the issue.

"The landowners should see our officers in the Northern Division to see that everything is done correctly and debts owed by the two companies are clarified and paid," Mr Naivalumaira said.

In a letter from NLTB to the two companies, the board reminded Telecom and the FEA to pay their debts to the landowners.

The deputy general manager Ela Manuku sent the letter in February.

While FEA has yet to reply to faxed questions regarding their outstanding arrears, Telecom Fiji said its lease rental payments to NLTB for Delaikoro were up to date.

June 30, 2005

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