31 Mar 2005

Fiji president seeks end to disputes over chiefly titles

1:48 pm on 31 March 2005

Fiji's president has appealed for an end to disputes over chiefly titles which are common in the country.

Ratu Josefa Iloilo says chiefly title disputes are becoming the norm with many pointing to money as the major problem.

This is because chiefs as heads of landowning units receive money from leases and rentals of their land.

Speaking of his own province Ba, Ratu Josefa said foreign income earners like sugar, gold, tourism, the international airport, mineral water, the hydro plant and pine forests are all located there.

Many chiefly titles in Fiji are under dispute or remain unfilled because of strong rivalry among contenders.

In the latest chiefly dispute, the title of Tui Suva or the chief of Suva is being challenged.

The title gives its holder control of over 11,000 hectares of some of the some of the most valuable land in and around the capital worth many hundreds of millions of dollars.