10 Aug 2006

FLP wants Fiji minister to withdraw remarks

6:09 pm on 10 August 2006

The Fiji Labour Party has called on the lands minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, to withdraw his remarks in parliament describing hoteliers opposed to the Qoliqoli Bill as extremists.

The lands minister also said if some hoteliers cannot respect Fiji's laws and the way Fijians feel about their cultures and traditions, then Fiji is not the place for them to invest and live in.

But the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the minister must withdraw his remarks.

Mr Chaudhry says Fiji's economy is in such a mess that the country simply cannot afford irresponsible statements of this nature.

Mr Chaudhry says Fiji needs investors and it needs to give them assurances about the security of their investment.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has also hit out at the minister's comments, saying they were unfortunate and will not help investment in the country.

But the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has refused to comment.