3 Dec 2002

Fiji landowners seize Labour MP's farm

8:09 am on 3 December 2002

Indigenous landowners in Fiji have forcefully seized a Fiji Labour Party MP's farm at Sabeto near Nadi.

The landowners locked Vijay Singh out of his farm and did not allow him to remove his belongings.

Mr Singh says he gave landowners 4-thousand-600 US dollars for the renewal of the lease on his flower farm, but instead of giving him the lease documents, they entered the property and asked him to vacate it immediately.

Mr Singh says they are now demanding 9-thousand-200 US dollars as premium and 3-thousand dollars a year which he cannot afford.

The deputy police commissioner western, Superintendent Emosi Lagilagi, says they cannot do anything because the lease expired.

Meanwhile, another group of landowners has blocked the entrance to the well known and popular Saweni Beach near Lautoka and has started charging fees for entry.

The action is illegal because beaches are public property but Superintendent Lagilagi says the cash demand is to clean up the beach.