7 May 2003

Roadblock set up again in Fiji by indigenous landowners

3:02 pm on 7 May 2003

A group of indigenous landowners in Fiji has blocked off the access road to a rural settlement of mostly Indo-Fijian families.

Villagers from Lauwaki village near Lautoka have erected a chained gate on the road and are charging families one dollar in cash, each time they cross the barrier.

The road serves about 80 families, one primary school, a temple and a tourist attraction known as the Garden of Eden.

An earlier roadblock in the same place last year resulted in demands of 32,000 U.S. dollars in compensation and 350 dollars from residents for using the road.

That roadblock was lifted after negotiations between the government and the Native Lands Trust Board but since then no progress has been made by the government to acquire the land.