12 Jan 2010

Fiji PM orders deportation of Fiji-born Australian environmental consultant Lal

6:37 pm on 12 January 2010

Fiji has deported an Australian consultant of the Suva office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature on the instruction of the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Dr Padma Lal, who was born in Fiji, was forced to leave Fiji a day after she returned from Australia.

Dr Lal, who has a visa to work in Fiji, was stopped at Nadi International Airport where her mobile phone and computer were taken.

She is the wife of Australia National University academic Dr Brij Lal, who last November was forced to end his stay and leave Fiji immediately.

He says no reason was given for her removal which was ordered from the top.

"We have a piece of printed paper from the airline, which was inadvertently handed over to my wife, where it says explicitly that she was not to be allowed back into the country on the orders of the prime minister."

Dr Brij Lal