Eviction affects over 300

On behalf of Chief Wilson of Tanoliu, Spokesman Jack Kalangis says over 300 indigenous Tanoliuans have been driven to the edge with nowhere to make their gardens because their lands are included in the boundary sold by a party from Moso Island to the new lease holder investor.

The village’s main concern is that the new title holder has not spoken to them concerning their right and plight.

“We have won the court case over the sale of the land because the party that sold the lease was not even the real custom landowner," the spokesman alleged.

"Since then new parties have appealed against the court ruling in our favour so the case is pending before the courts."

"Meanwhile the investor is reported to be in the process of fencing out the land while the appeal is still to be heard.

"This attitude is a concern to us."

The spokesman alleged the investor has hired security that organised a lorry to harvest their gardens.

“We have cautioned them and they have not respected our human rights," he says.

Spokesman Kalangis says their plight is a perfect example of 'man-made disaster'.

“This is why we strongly urge the investor to come down to our level and talk to us," he says.

"We want to know who is to be held responsible for our plight; the investor or those that granted the eviction order to the police without checking to find out if the party that sold the land lease was the true custom landowner."

Traditionally the land under the spotlight is famous for growing tomatoes for the markets of Port Vila.

Following the start of their plight, their leaders have addressed the Prime Minister’s Office, Leader of Opposition Office, National Disaster Management Office, the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs Office and the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs, without any feedback.

The truth is that without their land, they cannot send their children to school due to lack of money to pay for their school fees.

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