22 Sep 2006

Fiji military attacks government over Qoliqoli bill and land leases

4:18 pm on 22 September 2006

Fiji's military has attacked the government for pushing controversial bills for its own personal benefit.

The army commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has told a school passing-out parade that recent comments by the lands minister that hoteliers should leave Fiji if they do not like the Qoliqoli Bill are unacceptable.

Speaking in Fijian, Commodore Bainimarama questioned what Fijians would do if all investors left the country.

He said Fiji would then go back more than one hundred years and everything that has been achieved so far would be lost.

As well, he said many indigenous landowners are not getting any money now after they did not renew land leases for cane farming.

Commodore Bainimarama also criticised the Auditor General's Office for not voicing its concern about the money wasted by the ministry of national reconciliation as it has achieved nothing.

He said the Reconciliation and Unity Bill is a waste of time, adding that many people involved in the May 2000 coup are yet to be charged and action should be taken against them.