7 Dec 2005

Fiji television says top politicians among supporters of Korean evangelist

11:17 am on 7 December 2005

Some top Fiji politicians are reported to be among the followers of the Korean evangelist, the Rev Dr Sun Myung Moon, who has been denied entry to the country.

Fiji TV says it has obtained documents showing the Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, the senate president Taito Waqavakatoga, and former minister and now government official, Paula Sotutu are among them.

They are listed as officials of Dr Moon's Fiji Ambassadors for Peace Committee.

Dr Moon was to have addressed his group at the Sheraton Resort in Nadi last night but was denied entry by immigration officials before his aircraft could land and it was forced to divert to Samoa.

The chief executive of the ministry of home affairs, Lesi Korovavala, who is also responsible for immigration, says the order was based on their investigations.

He said the ban on Dr Moon was final and no appeal would be heard.

A government statement said "Dr Moon's doctrines are considered misleading, repugnant and divisive and would affect the peace, good order, public safety and public morality of Fiji."

It said Dr Moon was found to be an "undesirable element" and "not a fit and proper person to enter the country."

Mr Chaudhry has attacked the government for denying entry to the Rev Moon, saying he is not a criminal or a terrorist to be given such treatment.

Mr Chaudhry says the ban is tantamount to denying freedom of association and assembly to Dr Moon's followers.