Fiji deports land reform critic

Land sold for US$10 as retrospective law takes effect

OUR ‘Paradise Lost’ story last month about controversial land sale law changes was just hitting the streets in Fiji when news broke of the deportation of one of the law’s biggest opponent, Karen Seaton of Canada. Seaton is a member of the newly formed Fiji Land Owners Association, and she and association spokesperson Dave Rand contributed heavily to the story we published last month.

“They broke into the (hotel) room and at that point I made a formal request for an ambassador. It was denied. They forcibly twisted my arm to remove my phone from me and they forcibly took my purse from me to take my passports. At one point I asked why was I being deported and she said it’s from the highest authority in the nation,” Seaton explained in an email she was only able to send upon her arrival in Los Angeles on a Fiji Airways flight from Fiji. Although a Canadian and US passport holder, Seaton has been living in her home on Koro Island, about eight hours of sailing northeast from Suva, Fiji’s capital.

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