8 Feb 2005

Landowner problems at exclusive indigenous Fijian school

8:12 am on 8 February 2005

An exclusive Fiji government school for indigenous boys could be facing closure with landowners saying they shouldn't be blamed if their education is disrupted.

Fiji TV reports that the lease for the Ratu Kadavulevu School expired in 1998.

Since then there have been unsuccessful negotiations to renew the lease.

The landowners had originally demanded US$4.7 million which is the total value of the school and other facilities on the property.

Now they have now written to the government offering to reach an out of court settlement for a part of this amount.

The landowners say for this, they will forego their occupation rights to the property.

Meanwhile, the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has condemned illegal takeovers of properties by landowners.

But, Mr Qarase, says government ministries and departments could have compounded the problem by not doing their jobs.