Any consultation on iTaukei laws should also include the tenants -Justice Qetaki

Any consultation on iTaukei laws should also include the tenants -Justice Qetaki

By Rashika Kumar
Saturday 27/05/2023
Justice Alipate Qetaki

Justice Alipate Qetaki says any consultation undertaken on reviewing iTaukei laws should also include the tenants on iTaukei land and this is one way to honour Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.

While speaking during a symposium on Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna at the University of Fiji, Justice Qetaki says perhaps one of the new roles of the Great Council of Chiefs is to look at the State Land Act, iTaukei Lands Act, the iTaukei Land Trust Act and the iTaukei Affairs Act as they have been there since the 1940s so it is well past review time.

The former University of Fiji lecturer says we can honour Ratu Sukuna by looking at our laws especially in light of looking at areas the iTaukei is disadvantaged; whether through their own doing or through institutionalized laws.

He says he believes that iTLTB reforms should be held with widest consultation with the tenant community.

Justice Qetaki says the tenant community has also changed and it is not just the Indo-Fijian community but it also includes people coming from Lau, Kadavu and from Vanua Levu to Viti Levu.

He says any law that will target the resource owners should have the widest consultation as the tenants are stakeholders too.

Justice Qetaki adds Ratu Sukuna rationalised land should be leased as it has value to not only the colonial government at that time and bring in income but it will also give security to the farmer who has just been dispossessed and completed his term of agreement with the Fiji Sugar Corporation and also be a source of income to the iTaukei for education and development.

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