- Fiji News
- Fiji Sports
By Maika Bolatiki
As the country prepares for the constitutional processes, the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has warned political parties on the Qoliqoli Bill.
He said this Bill was one of the reasons why the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces took over leadership in December 2006.
Speaking to the Fiji Sun, the Prime Minister said that former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase had refused to listen to the RFMF’s request for him to withdraw the Qoliqoli Bill.
“The RFMF took over leadership and fought corruption in government and also went against racially discriminatory policies,” the Prime Minister said.
“For the new way forward to a new and better Fiji, there is no place for the Qoliqoli Bill.”
Mr Qarase has previously been quoted as saying he firmly believes that Fiji needed legislation like the proposed Qoliqoli Bill.
He said the main purpose of the Qoliqoli Billwas the transfer of the proprietary ownership of qoliqoli areas from the state to the qoliqoli owners.
“The proposed legislation had nothing to do with race,” Mr Qarase reportedly said.
The Qoliqoli Bill he claimed was about the rights of indigenous Fijians to their traditional fishing grounds.
The proposed Qoliqoli Bill had caused major controversy at the time. Its many critics ranged from the tourism industry (which said it put the industry at risk of collapse) to the Fiji Law Society (which said it brought major legal risks.)
The Prime Minister said Mr Qarase’s policies would have divided the nation and would have had very serious consequences to our future generations.
He said to steer our nation forward to a better Fiji for all, the nation needed visionary, transformative leaders who placed the interests of the nation first including national development, good and just governance, and unity.
The RFMF he said would continue to monitor the day to day developments in Fiji after the elections in 2014 and the last thing they wanted was the Qoliqoli Bill passed into law.