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SODELPA threatens public march against Bill 17

July 26, 2021 12:10 pm
Social Democratic Liberal Party Leader, Viliame Gavoka. [File Photo]

The SODELPA Leader has confirmed the Party is considering a march in protest against the iTaukei Land Trust Amendment Bill.

Speaking to FBC News, Viliame Gavoka admits that getting approval for a march would be next to impossible, but the Party will pursue this avenue nonetheless.

“That is one of the options available to us. The regulations regarding marches are quite difficult but all options are on the table.”

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Gavoka says he is aware of the risk of COVID-19 if there were to be a large gathering, however, SODELPA is adamant about pursuing any means to have the Bill withdrawn.

FBC News has asked whether the party is using the march as a threat in the middle of a national health crisis.

“I’m sorry that you see it as a threat, but as I said it is him – Bainimarama who can make the decision. He has received letters from the paramount chiefs of Fiji. Pleading with him, just listen to them.”

SODELPA is unlikely to receive a permit to march or hold any large public gathering because any such activity that threatens public health is outlawed due to the risk of being a COVID-19 super-spreader.

Meanwhile, HOPE Party Leader Roko Tupou Draunidalo says SODELPA’s stand is baffling.

“The position that SODELPA is taking, they are anti-investment. The investment brings money to landowning units. Why are they anti-investment? Not only does it brings money to landowners, but it also brings money to the State which pays for the schools that iTaukei children go to, the hospitals that the iTaukei go to, the roads that they use. We are the majority in this country, that’s how they pay for these things. The way they are talking it’s like the money goes into the pockets of investors and FijiFirst – and nothing comes to them. They’re crazy.”

The iTaukei Land Trust Amendment Bill will be debated in parliament this week.

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