A FIJIAN opposition party has called for the lifting of travel bans on all individuals – including former Fiji citizens.National Federation Party President, Roko Tupou Draunidalo, said Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, needed to follow through his recent rhetoric with action.“Last weekend the PM announced in Australia that any journalist would be free to visit the country and report without restriction once they have been accredited by the Department of Information,” Draunidalo said.
“This also referred to three prominent journalists from New Zealand and Australia who were banned from entering Fiji.”Draunidalo said Bainimarama had urged Fijians in Australia to take advantage of the dual citizenship that Fiji now offers, return home and build houses or start businesses.
“However all this will remain just tokenism unless bans against those who have served Fiji loyally in their capacity as expatriates as well as former Fiji citizens remain in place.” Draunidalo said the Immigration Department black list that prevented former and current citizens from returning to Fiji, the land of their birth, must be removed.
“The name of academics Professor Brij Lal and his wife, Dr Padma Lal, as well as other individuals who have been placed on this list for frivolous, undemocratic reasons, must be removed if the Prime Minister really wants to show the world that Fiji is a robust democracy.”“Inviting Fijians to return home for simply financial and economic reasons, is not being global at all. They have their families, friends, cultural roots and identity here in Fiji and have the best foundation to contribute to Fiji’s social and economic progress. “