4 Dec 2002

Fiji Labour Party MP could lose business after seizure of farm

5:31 pm on 4 December 2002

Fiji Labour Party MP, Vijay Singh, says he could lose his business and everything associated with it, after the seizure of his flower farm by indigenous landowners.

He says he attempted to renew the lease when it expired and had fully paid up the rent but was then informed that the property had been occupied.

The Labour MP says even the police were unable to persuade the landowners to leave.

Mr Singh says the Native Lands Trust Board, which oversees the management of leasehold land, has set up a meeting between its representatives, the landowners and himself for next Monday.

But, he says he doesn't know if this will lead to a resolution.

"There is no guarantee that I am going to get my land back or even if I'm going to get all that property that I have- my buildings, nursery, pot plants, water fountain bore holes....everything is stuck inside, so it could be a total loss, but I hope something comes out, but right now, I've been told to leave, and threatened not to come near the farm."

Mr Singh says he has had to lay off his six staff and the business has had to shut down.