by Sai Lealea
One of the lackeys of the current illegal regime disguising as a public servant, is now trumpeting what can only be regarded as a deliberate attempt to undermine the future of the NLTB. Filimone Kau appears to be casting aspersion and doubt over the legally instituted NLTB in contrast to his enthusiastic endorsement of his regime's illegal Land Bank in handling native land. What he has conveniently left out in his trumpet blowing, is how the Land Bank has been forced illegally on the native Fijians by the Dictator Bainimarama and his illegal government. It obviously matter little to him that Fijians never wanted or called for it to be set up in competition to the NLTB. But that is the modus operandi of an illegal regime staffed by people masquerading as public servants as Kau.
Most disturbing in Kau's biased comparison of the Land Bank to the NLTB is the lack of independent oversight and scrutiny of the operation of the Land Bank as it is fully controlled by the government of the day. It is therefore at its mercy to set its direction to suit its political agenda. That is exactly what the Land Bank is set up to do - satisfy the demand for land by foreign investors sweet talked by the Dictator in exchange for a cut for himself as reported by others. The landowners, of course will jump at any initiative that will generate them revenue, and that is what is happening. Long term damage to their land as a result of such use will be secondary as they will be expected to pick up on any environmental costs long term, well after the investors have left, to count their horde deposited in foreign banks.
Despite its various drawbacks, NLTB is Fijian controlled although vested with the State. Direct political interference is kept at bay by having the President as Chair of the Board and Council of Chiefs nominees in addition to government representation. That is the safeguard against political machinations in the original design of NLTB, now chucked out by the Dictator and his treasonous lot.
By his remarks below, Kau, by design or default, has contributed to the destruction of a Fijian institution in the same manner as the Dictator Bainimarama has systematically been doing wit others. It will be the legacy they will be painted with in the years to come by Fijians who had placed their faith in the State to look after their land only to be trashed by people like Filimone Kau. He will live to regret his untutored support for such an illegal act in years to come - long after his Dictator leader is locked away in prison. Kau would do well to reflect on his misguided support for an illegally set up institution that is now being used to tear down another, Fijians had always regarded as providing them the security and protection in how their lands are used and managed.