4 Sep 2003

Fiji group to lobby UN over resettlement problems

4:03 pm on 4 September 2003

The Fiji-based Movement for Justice and Freedom will lobby the United Nations to pressure Australia and Britain to resettle farmers displaced by expiring land leases.

The Movement's general secretary, Dildar Shah, told the Fiji Times they would ask the UN Human Rights Commission to press the two countries to allow landless farmers resettlement rights and financial compensation.

He says the movement will highlight atrocities committed against Indians since they were brought to Fiji in 1879 and how they are becoming stateless, homeless and third grade citizens in the land of their birth.

Mr Shah says Australia should resettle all these farmers as it benefitted the most from the exploitation of Indians in Fiji.

He says the contribution of 60-thousand Indians was used to finance the economy of Australia in brutal servitude under the indenture system.

Mr Shah says while Britain and Australia are to be congratulated for resettling evicted farmers from Zimbabwe, they should be questioned for closing their eyes to Fiji's Indians in their time of need.