26 Jul 2006

Fiji PM worried by threats of cane harvest boycott

10:26 am on 26 July 2006

Fiji's prime minister has called on the general secretary of the National Farmers Union, Mahendra Chaudhry, to stop threatening the country with a sugar cane harvest boycott.

Laisenia Qarase has told Radio Legend Mr Chaudhry should think about the country and make the right decision.

He says a harvest boycott will not lift the landowners' illegal blockade of the cane railway line at Ba or resolve the dispute as suggested by Mr Chaudhry.

Mr Qarase says a harvest boycott will be illegal and breaking the law is not good for Fiji.

He says the problem a harvest boycott will not do anybody any good, particularly the farmers who will suffer as will the country.

Mr Qarase he would urge Mr Chaudhry not to encourage people to break the law.

The landowners at Soroko, Ba, are demanding a goodwill payment of 53-thousand US dollars before they negotiate a new lease for railway line which they blocked two weeks ago by felling a mango tree across it.

Mr Chaudhry has supported the landowners in their action and blamed the Fiji Sugar Corporation.