Monday, July 07, 2008- www.fijitimes.com
Peter Dysdale explains the state of affairs at Yaqara to interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama
A LANDOWNING unit believes that all State land have their right or traditional owners who cannot be overlooked.
Josateki Buadrau, of the yavusa Rara at Navolau Naba Rua in Ra, says part of their land is now under State grant.
Mr Buadrau said it was important for the Native Lands Commission to clarify who owned which part of the land to avoid dispute among the owners.
He said all State land in the country were under the State because of illegal sales done to it in the early time of their forefathers.
However, he said they knew which land belonged to them because the information had been passed down to them by their forefathers.
Mr Buadrau said his yavusa owned large tracts of land from Ellington wharf to the Vaileka town boundary.
He said they owned Volivoli and other areas including Nananu-i-Ra, Nananu-i-Cake, the islands off Ellington.
Members of Mr Buadrau's clan met interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama on Friday to discuss issues on State freehold land they claimed was theirs.
Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and his team travelled to Ellington wharf to met the landowners.
The trip was part of the Prime Minister's itinerary of his Western Division tour which included visiting the resort development project at Natadola and the Yaqara pastoral farm.
Mr Buadrau said the land in question should be returned to them.
The interim Minister for Lands, Netani Sukanaivalu, was also at the meeting and said that all State land had been sold and now belonged to the Government.
As such, Mr Sukanaivalu said the Volivoli land in question should be returned to the Government and not the landowning unit.
The interim PM's tour party also included the interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Saiyad-Khaiyum.