Fiji-Born Professor, Banned Indefinitely, Hopes To Return

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Brij Lal, wife Padma, still consider Fiji their home

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 31, 2015) – Fiji-born Professor Brij Lal says along with his wife, Dr Padma, they would want to return to the country "to share in the joys and sorrows of families and friends still in Fiji."

In a correspondent with the FijiLive, Professor Lal says Fiji is where they were born.

"Emotionally it [is] still our home. I grieve especially when I am unable to say the final farewell to family and friends who have been part of my journey," he said.

Professor Lal confirmed having written to Fiji’s Director Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa to re-apply for re-entry into Fiji and have an indefinite ban against them lifted.

The plight of Professor Lal and his wife was raised in parliament in their last sitting mid March where in response Defence Minister Timoci Natuva said the academic had opposed moves towards democracy after the events of 2006.

He said Dr Lal’s actions were viewed by the government of the day as prejudicial to the peace, defence, public safety, public order and security.

"I am very sorry they imposed an indefinite ban on us. They had never told us why they were banning us," Professor Lal said.

"There was no formal communication, no piece of paper, no explanation. But all that is moot now." "I noted Minister Natuva's statement [on] TV. Accordingly, I have written to Mr Nemani Vuniwaqa, Director of Immigration. I have yet to hear from him. I await the decision of the minister eagerly."

Comments are still being sought from Vuniwaqa.

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