protest against miners, despite martial law and censorship
pictures are astonishing - people are finally protesting in Fiji.
are ignoring martial law and the brave journalist who got them to the outside
world, has broken Fiji's tight censorship. This is the message that came
with the photos - the author can reveal him/herself if they wish, I will not:
you won't see in Fiji's mainstream media ... On December 14, 2011, the people
of Namosi staged a quiet protest against the proposed mining project on their
land at Waisoi. Representatives from Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) turned up for
a meeting with the villagers in the area where the landowners are worried
about the potential environmental effects and the loss of mataquali
(landowning unit) lands.
project is in the wish environment impact assessment stage.
the men sat in the hall with representatives of NJV, the women and children
sat outside holding banners calling for their land to be left alone. Witnesses
say some women were crying as they sat outside. The villagers appear to want
the developers to slow down and not make hasty decisions regarding the
project, but the regime is keen for companies to start mining. Reports and
photographs on the December 14 meeting have been censored."
of what has happened is known in high places, and the regime controlled
i-Taukei Land Trust Board (it used to be the Native Land Trust Board) is now
saying they are powerless in land issues involving mining.
manager Alipate Qetaki told military controlled Fiji Broadcasting that they
are not involved in mining negotiations and that the interests of land owners
are protected by the Mineral Resources Department.
admitted Naitasiri landowners are wondering why the board is not involved in
the mining negotiations underway there.
is more striking is that military dictator Voreqe Bainimarama, who is pushing
the mining, has completely overlooked what happened to his Melanesian
Spearhead brotherhood in PNG when mining was pushed through against the wishes
of the traditional landowners: it was the Bougainville civil war.