23 Aug 2006

Fijian landowners force closure of school near Nadi

9:54 am on 23 August 2006

Indigenous Fijian landowners have closed down the Momi Indian School near Nadi, saying they will not allow it to reopen even if they are paid millions of dollars.

A Fiji TV report says the landowners have taken the action because they claim their grievances have not been addressed by the ministry of education, the Native Lands Trust Board and the school management.

A spokesman for the landowners, Ratu Josaia Narika, says the authorities have mocked them because in 2001 they were given 600-US dollars and promised an additional sum.

Ratu Josaia says six years have gone by and nothing has been done.

He says even if they are given one or two million dollars now, they will not allow the school to re-open.

Students have been advised to go to other schools and teachers living in school housing have been ordered to leave.