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Opposition refutes claims made by the Land Minister

February 21, 2020 6:34 am

Opposition MP has refuted claims made by the Lands Minister, Ashneel Sudhakar that land owners were given a blank paper to sign a petition.

Viliame Gavoka told FBC News that Opposition has a standard petition form which they have been using in the recent years and the same form was signed by the landowners from Sigatoka.

He says the Opposition has made strategic approaches regarding the petition to ensure no parliament laws are breached.

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“We are very careful that we don’t do anything that does not keep the law in parliament. In parliament when you want someone to sign a petition you must be there yourself – you as a collector. And you must explain to the person what he or she is signing up for. And you cannot cohere anyone, it has been voluntary”.

However, Sudhakar says that no mining lease has been given to Magma Mines and the area is still in its normal state.

Gavoka then states that the matter is of national interest and need serious attention.

“That is what has been identified by the company and that is what we believe them intent to mine. Imagine that quantity of sand being extracted from Sigatoka. Look at the ramification down the line, it’s really frightening. That it’s so obvious to everyone, it’s like somebody dropped the bomb in the area. And that is why we are so concerned about it”.

The Lands Minister had earlier told FBC News that they are collaborating with the Environment Ministry to ensure the natural surrounding at the Sigatoka river mouth is safeguarded.

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