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iTaukei way of life is safe: PM

March 24, 2021 4:57 pm
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.[File Image]

The Opposition’s continuous attempts at trying to portray the iTaukei people as needing government protection is insulting and demeaning says, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The Prime Minister made the statement while debating land reform issues in parliament.

He says Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula continues to bellow about the ILO Convention on the rights of indigenous and tribal people which has already been ratified by the government.

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Bainimarama adds they have on many occasions addressed the issue of indigenous rights and the safeguards provided for, under the Constitution.

Bainimarama says it is absurd and makes no sense to think that the population which is in the majority is in danger of losing their cultural heritage, tradition, their language, expressions, and way of life.

He says it is simply not possible.

“It is through the constitutional reform of my government undertaken by my Government together with the amendments to the State Lands Act that will now prevent i Taukei being converted into freehold land or being permanently alienated whether by sale, grant, transfer, exchange, etc in accordance with Section 27 of the Constitution which provides for compulsory acquisition of land under certain condition. All i taukei land that is to be acquired by the state must be reverted to the landowners if it is no longer required by the state, in other words, the loopholes by the SVT Government and the SDL government took advantage of to permanently alienate i Taukei land previously was identified and rectified by my government to ensure the i Taukei land is never alienated or taken away ever again.”

Bainimarama adds that the Opposition continues to mislead and misinform the parliament on land use.

 

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