29 Oct 2009

National Farmers Union says sugar cane farmers want Fiji military to stop interfering

4:30 pm on 29 October 2009

The Secretary of the Labasa branch of Fiji's National Farmers Union says sugar cane farmers are calling for the military to stop interfering with their business.

Surendra Lal says he has been informed about three incidents involving soldiers threatening and interfering with the farmers' affairs, including two cases from the Labasa mill.

He says on one occasion two workers were threatened and taken to the police station by members of the military for protesting against certain operations in the mill.

"This was in regards to cane lorries which deliver cane to the mill. They were not happy with the way the crushing was going in the mill. So they went on the impromptu protest. So after a few hours the military came up and they threatened the drivers to disband their protest and continue dumping the cane in to the mill."

Surendra Lal says he has written letters asking the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence to respond the matter.