25 Mar 2015

Lal hopes for Australian diplomatic pressure to lift Fiji ban

1:38 pm on 25 March 2015

An academic who's not being allowed back home to Fiji says he will ask the Australian government to put pressure on Suva to lift the ban.

Fiji's Immigration Minister Timoci Natuva has told the Fijian parliament the ban on Brij Lal will remain indefinitely because of his opposition to the move towards democracy in Fiji.

Professor Lal who was deported in 2009 says that claim could not be further from the truth.

Australian National University academic Prof Brij Lal who was deported from Fiji in 2009

Australian National University academic Prof Brij Lal Photo: Supplied

He says he will again write to Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for help.

"Australia can apply moral pressure, in other words say look we have lifted all the sanctions, we have restored diplomatic relations, we want to work together and this is unfortunately a blot on the image of the government. It's a constant reminder that things are not all hunky dory in Fiji."

Professor Lal says there is no use taking legal action because the decision appears to be a personal vendetta against him by the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.