4 Sep 2002

Fiji's NFP wants moratorium on evictions

11:27 am on 4 September 2002

Fiji's National Federation Party has called for an immediate moratorium on the eviction of farmers whose leases are expiring.

The Fiji Times says the NFP leader Prem Singh's call comes after Monday's eviction of five families in Lautoka by villagers armed with cane knives.

Mr Singh says the moratorium has to be immediate for the sake of humanity.

And it should stay in place until a solution to the land problem is found.

The families in Lautoka and in several similar instances were forced off the land which was part of 120-thousand hectares of state land which was converted to native land and handed over to the Native Lands Trust Board.

Mr Singh says the evictions were traumatic and it confirmed the uncertain future of leasees who were formerly tenants of the state.

Mr Singh has blamed recent racial statement by elected leaders for the evictions.

He says he had warned in parliament that state lands should not be transferred to the NLTB until the security of the tenants had been guaranteed.