23 September 2016: Press Release – EXPULSION MAKES A MOCKERY OF DEMOCRACY
The expulsion from Fiji last Friday of two expatriates working for MWH Global that was contracted by Fiji Roads Authority has once again made a mockery of Fiji’s democracy and conduct of government.
The Director of Immigration has confirmed through the media that the directive to expel the two expatriates came from Government. Once again this is similar to the case of former Fiji citizens Dr Brij Lal and his wife Padma Lal, who have been banned from re-entering Fiji because of a directive from the Office of the Prime Minister. This was confirmed in writing to the two by Immigration as well as in Parliament and in the media by the then Immigration Minister (Timoci Natuva).
The latest episode undeniably undermines the confidence of current and future foreign investors. It also sends a wrong signal to expatriates hired by either Government or a statutory organisation that they cannot raise any grievance with their respective authorities, no matter how legitimate it may be. In this case, MWH was pursuing payment of a claim from FRA.
The question then arises is who in Government is making such undemocratic decisions to be enforced by Immigration Department in contravention of the Immigration Act of 2003?
The number of deportations, expulsions, or simply declaring expatriates persona non grata has been unprecedented under both Bainimarama Regime and later Fiji First Government since 2007.
And in almost all cases, the persons including diplomats either questioned the authority or decisions made by the regime or raised a grievance in the case of MWH.
This is a classic example of “My Way or the Highway” approach that has been the hallmark of this Government. Hon Prof Biman Prasad NFP Leader