July 18, 2014
Bainimarama is banking on most people not understanding what the Land Use Decree does. He has been careful to keep the huge powers it gives him up his sleeve, but the difference is really very simple. The NLTA established by Ratu Sukuna says native land leased under the NLTA “shall be administered by the Board for the benefit of the Fijian owners“. End of story. The interests of the owners is the only thing that matters. The LUD says: “All leases issued or renewed under this Decree shall take into consideration at all times the best interest of the land owners and the overall wellbeing of the economy.” That ‘and’ is important. The interests of the landowners have to be balanced with the “well being of the economy”, which can be whatever Bainimarama says it is, because his decision cannot be taken to court. Does any of Bainimarama or Khaiyum’s property have this applying to it? This is a simple question which Bainimarama must be made to answer.