13 Jan 2010

IUCN seeks clarification from Fiji about Lal deportation

2:29 pm on 13 January 2010

The Fiji office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the IUCN, is seeking clarification over yesterday's deportation of a senior Australian staff member.

Fiji-born Dr Padma Lal was deported to Sydney on instructions of the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, shortly after she arrived in Nadi.

She was given no reason for the move but the immigration director says she had been declared a prohibited immigrant and was included on a watch list.

The IUCN office in Suva says her deportation came as a surprise and it is now trying to establish why Dr Lal was deported because she had been in possession of a valid work visa.

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

Amnesty International says he was told he would be killed if he returned to Fiji.