24 Dec 2007

Methodist Church in Fiji won't comment on eviction of squatters from its land

11:17 am on 24 December 2007

The Methodist Church has refused to comment on the eviction of squatters from land it lease in Davuilevu.

Squatters on Native land leased by the church were evicted last week sparking criticism from civil society groups.

The Fiji Times says local chief Ratu Loco Qiolevu last week admitted taking up to US$600 from squatters in return for land at the site.

Assistant General Secretary for the church Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu said the church was not in a position to comment until all necessary documents have been prepared.

Ratu Loco claimed he had the final say on who could use the land.

But the Native Land Trust Board says the Methodist Church owns the lease to the property at Davuilevu.