Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Land Disputes top Ba Chiefly Talks

by Sera Whippy

FIJI TIMES - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
LAND and title disputes are a major issue today for the country's largest province because it has divided families and brewed hatred in villages.
This finding, according to the Ba Provincial Council, is linked to money รน and the matter will be the subject of intense discussion today at the Bose ni Momo being held at Viseisei Village in Vuda.
Roko Tui Ba Vananalagi Vesikula said he was concerned about the trend.
He said discussions today would focus on ways to repair damaged relationships and reconciling affected parties.
He said that land and title disputes have been a prevalent problem in the province because of the link to money.
He said in most of the disputes, a lot of money was at stake.
With the assistance of the Native Lands Commission chairman, Ratu Viliame Tagivetaua, Mr Vesikula hopes to discuss this problem at length and to agree to a sustainable solution.
"A survey was conducted and we narrowed down on the main problems like land and title disputes which bring about a lot of hate and disunity within the villages," said Mr Vesikula.
"Many cases involve families fighting over titles or two tokatoka having a dispute over who is to become the title holder.
"All this stems down to the money issue.
"One such case that was quite unsettling was the Tui Vitogo case where the tribunal had to have two sittings in order to come to an agreement for all parties involved."
Mr Vesikula also emphasised the roles and responsibilities of chiefs.
"We will have short-term plans and long-term plans to aid us in successfully developing our land," said Mr Vesikula.
He hopes that this will be the beginning of an annual tradition where instead of having to discuss their issues for only a few hours at the annual provincial council, they will now have two days to discuss in detail their problems and find relevant solutions.
This will also act to strengthen links between the I-Taukei Affairs board and the Ba Province.
The chiefs' meeting ends today before they prepare for the opening of the Salusalu Festival tomorrow, to be hosted by Vuda this year.
More than 20 chiefs are attending the meeting which is focused on the promotion of good governance, traditional culture conservation, village by-laws, reconciliation and the role of the church in villages.

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