8 Jul 2011

Fiji sugar industry reform to squeeze out unions, politics

11:00 am on 8 July 2011

The Fiji Ministry of Sugar says it will try and identify the right people to reform the sugar industry.

Its Permanent Secretary, Lieutenant-Colonel Manasa Vaniqi, has told the Fiji Sun that dirty politics of the past have destroyed the sugar industry.

He says for a long time, the government has been trying to remove politics from the sugar industry.

Col Vaniqi also says one of the main reasons they had to review the Sugar Cane Growers Council was because 36 of its members were unionists.

Last month, a senior union leader, Felix Anthony, gave an account of severe beatings of union leaders at the hand of the military.

However, a military spokesman, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, has said the military does not do those things.

There has been no independent investigation of the alleged abuse.