11 Feb 2004

Fiji landowners threaten to delay 500 million dollar project

9:04 am on 11 February 2004

Indigenous landowners in Fiji have threatened to disrupt work on the 500 million US dollar Studio City project in northwestern Viti Levu.

The threat has been prompted by anger at the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, who told parliament this week that the Nabulou clan's claim's to the land are not valid.

Mr Qarase said the Native Lands Commission, the final authority on these matters, could find no evidence in favour of the clan.

But a spokesman for the landowners has told Fiji TV that Mr Qarase was supposed to deliver his decision to them personally next week and not air his views in parliament.

He says the landowners want to disrupt work on the project and seek a court injunction to stop all development unless a proper inquiry is carried out into their claims.