17 Dec 2004

Fiji landowners defend Emberson-Bain in land debate

2:09 pm on 17 December 2004

A group of indigenous Fijian landowners has defended Labour Senator Atu Emberson-Bain against senators who attacked her when she asked questions about land issues.

Great Council of Chiefs Senator Ratu George Cakobau had told Senator Emberson-Bain to shut up and added that she had no right to ask questions about native land because she was not indigenous.

But the Raviravi landowning unit of Korovou in Ra says Ratu George Cakobau's statements were racist and uncalled for.

Their spokesman, Eseroma Tuibua, says the landowners had asked Dr Emberson-Bain to speak for them because indigenous parliamentarians had refused to take up their case.

Mr Tuibua says if indigenous senators and parliamentarians had agreed to help them, they would not have gone to Senator Emberson-Bain.

The piece of land in dispute is the site of the proposed billion-dollar Studio City at Yagara.