FIJIANS DEMAND RETURN OF LAND

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 6) - An indigenous Fiji landowners group says all state land should be returned to its rightful original owners.

Radio New Zealand International reports the group is threatening to shut down the mineral water company, Fiji Water, if their claims are not addressed.

Members of the group say they are the original owners of the land on which the water company is located.

The land at Yaqara northwestern Viti Levu Island is also the site of the proposed FJ$1 billion [US$564 million] Studio City.

A representative for the group, Eseroma Tuibua, says companies are making millions of dollars in profits from the land while the native owners are getting nothing from it.

He says their claims are being put aside again because of the May general election.

"Now the Government is being dissolved - waiting for the election next month for a new government to come in," Tuibua said. "We are asking this government why they delayed all this process of reverting that to become native land - that's why we are frustrated."

April 7, 2006

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