16 Apr 2013

Land a key focus at Fiji regime meetings on constitution

10:42 am on 16 April 2013

Fiji's Attorney General has tried to assure tenants and land owners in Fiji that they are well protected under the draft constitution.

Most questions at yesterday's government run sessions on the draft focused on land.

Sally Round reports from Sigatoka in Fiji's west.

"Many indigenous people at the public meetings wanted to know if their land would be safe. Several aired worries they would not benefit from mining and tenants like sugar cane growers wanted more certainty over leased land. The regime's draft has been criticised as silent on land and indigenous rights with no entrenched protection for key land laws. But Mr Sayed Khaiyum said the draft's Bill of Rights was an overarching safeguard which all laws had to comply with. He referred people to a section banning discrimination on cultural grounds. Mr Sayed Khaiyum also said Fiji's mining laws are archaic and need changing."