Two surfers fight back against might of Communist developer…
Navrin Fox and Woody Jack are two very good surfers from Angourie, a couple of hours south of Bryon, on Australia’s east coast.
Two years ago, the pair threw their life savings on a 99-year lease on an acre of land on Fiji’s Mololo Island.
A third share went to a Fijian pal Ratu Jona Joseva, who gets his bread ferrying surfers to Cloudbreak and whose family is one of the three that own land on Mololo.
And this is where it gets interesting…
From Newsroom in New Zealand,
Last year they got a phone call from Joseva saying something was up. A Chinese developer had moved onto the land next door and was ripping the place apart.
When Fox and Jack flew in from Australia they found a scene of devastation.
“There were two or three excavators in the water, smashing through the reef and digging it out to create a massive channel. There was hydraulic fluid spilling into the water. Another excavator on the land was covering the beautiful little beach on our land with the material from the reef to build a hard zone. It was shocking. We knew they didn’t have a foreshore lease and what they were doing was illegal,” said Fox.
Fox and Wood felt their piece of paradise would never be the same, even if they could get it restored to the original state. In a moment of despondency, they offered to sell it to the developer Freesoul Real Estate and approached the local director Dickson Peng.
We pointed out to Peng that they were using our land to access the development site and raised the idea of them buying it. Peng replied ‘Fuck you, I am going to take your land anyway’.”
At that point Fox, Jack and Joseva went to war with Freesoul.
The battle has cost them most of their life savings and last week culminated in Fox being attacked by an employee of Freesoul when he tried to walk on to his own land at Mololo Island.
Accompanied by Newsroom journalist Melanie Reid, Fox was visiting the site to point out the environmental damage when a Chinese employee of Freesoul confronted him.
When Fox went to access his own land through a gate in a fence Freesoul erected across the foreshore, the employee tackled him and got Fijian security guards to help him lock the gate.
Fox reached his own land by going through a bush area but was attacked again by the same man. The local Fijian security guards restrained their Chinese colleague and appeared to tell him Fox was entitled to be there.
Fox said: “It is like living next door to a lawless monster. I am devastated for the Fijians, how can a company just come in and do this? They have no respect for anything else except money – greed governs.”
Of course, this is the thin edge of the wedge, as they say.
For all my brothers and sisters who bemoan the USA as the world’s omnipresent Superpower, imagine, please, what’ll be like when China fills the inevitable power vacuum as US power declines.
China ain’t got no New York Times or Washington Post, no Seymour Hersh, keeping the government even vaguely in line.
No protests. Cameras on every citizen.
No, gulp, Instagram.
How would you live?