Nationalists have called on the Prime Minister to resign following his failure to push through Parliament passage of the Land Bills amending ALTA and NLTA.
The Bills which intended to transfer all native agricultural leases to the ambit of the Native Land Trust Act was defeated when government failed to muster the two-thirds majority required for passage of the Bills. Both ALTA and NLTA are entrenched legislation which require a two-thirds majority to be amended.
The Fiji Labour Party, fighting to retain ALTA as providing greater security to the tenant community, voted en bloc against the amendments to the Bills.
Chaudhry instead called on Qarase to quit his dictatorial mode of governance and to refer the land issue back to the Talanoa Talks for an amicable solution to this long-standing national issue.
Speaking to the Fiji Sun (12 Jan) Nationalist Party president Saula Telawa warned that the future of the indigenous people was at stake under the Qarase government.
He went on to warn that the recent move by the government to equip the policeforce with modern firearms was “a dangerous precedent” which could lead to more bloodshed.
“It will be Fijians shooting Fijians,” he said, pointing out that Fiji should learn a lesson from the civil conflicts that had erupted in Papua New Guinea and the Solomons.
“Laisenia Qarase is a failure,” Sun reported Telawa saying. He said the government’s blueprint providing for affirmative programmes for the indigenous community was a farce because foreigners and the elite Fijians had gained from the blueprint, not the Fijian community.