www.sun.com.fj - 7/9/2008
A chief who claims to own the land on which he and others live wants compensation if they are to be re-located.
Tui Suva Ratu Epeli Kanakana, 83, says he is willing to vacate the land if he receives compensation from the Suva City Council.
He said he had moved to the settlement with his family four years ago and built his home.
He said it was unfair for the council to issue him with an eviction notice when the land was his.
“Unless and until I receive compensation I will continue to live here with my family,'' he said.
“This land was called Nacara and it is now known as Maunivatu squatter settlement.
“If the council wants to lease this land, they are to give me compensation. It’s not easy buying timber and building a house."
He said he had spoken with the director of lands showing a plan of the land he currently occupied.
“I have handed the lands department some paperwork and they will then decide on who is the rightful owner of this land,'' he said.
“I come under the Roko Tui Rewa, and they informed me about the government tribunal which I have been attending.
“This is my own land which has been handed down for many generations. Who are they to give me a letter to leave?"
SCC Lord Mayor Ratu Peni Volavola said the land Ratu Epeli was talking about belonged to the government and not him.
“As far as we are concerned we have received a lease from the lands department and the government is the rightful landowner," Ratu Peni said.
SCC’s Public Relations Officer Jillian Hicks said the tenants were given an extra week by the council to relocate.
She said enforcement officers will be checking residents of the area on when they will be vacating the land