By ELENOA BASELALA AND SAKIASI NAWAIKAMA
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Department of Immigration and his workmate exit the Fiji Times Limited office last night.+ Enlarge this image
Department of Immigration and his workmate exit the Fiji Times Limited office last night.
THE interim Government was silent last night as attempts were made to contact senior Cabinet ministers and officials to determine why Rex Gardner, the publisher and acting chief executive officer of Fiji Times Limited, was declared a prohibited immigrant and ordered to leave the country yesterday.
Neither the interim Immigration Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau nor his permanent secretary Peniame Naqasima could be contacted last night.
Mr Naqasima signed the Removal Order on Friday, January 23.
Under the Immigration Act of 2003, the decision to declare a person a prohibited immigrant rests with the Minister for Immigration.
Interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama also could not be reached for comments as he was resting when the Fiji Times contacted him last night.
The person who answered his mobile phone last night said he was resting and all questions regarding the issue should be directed to Immigration officials.
Permanent secretary in the Prime Minster's Office, Parmesh Chand, said he was unaware of the case and could not comment.
Fiji Times Limited publisher Rex Gardner clearing his desk last night+ Enlarge this image
Fiji Times Limited publisher Rex Gardner clearing his desk last night
A THIRD newspaper publisher was ordered out of the country by the interim Government in less than a year under unclear motives.
Fiji Times Limited publisher and acting CEO Rex Gardner was declared a prohibited immigrant yesterday, less than nine months after his predecessor Evan Hannah was deported under the same immigration laws.
Russell Hunter was also deported on February 25 last year while employed as the publisher of the Fiji Sun newspaper.
Mr Gardner was handed the Removal Order at his office yesterday which was signed on Friday by the permanent secretary for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Peniame Naqasima.
The order was served on Mr Gardner by senior immigration officer Joe Ravatudei, who also handed Mr Hannah his Removal Order on May 1 last year.
Mr Gardner was scheduled to meet Immigration officers at PricewaterhouseCoopers yesterday afternoon, but they failed to turn up. Mr Gardner, whose work permit expires next month, returned to his office where he was later visited by immigration officers.
Mr Gardner was allowed to work in Fiji under Section 9(2)c of the Immigration Act of 2003.
Yesterday he was classified as a prohibited immigrant under section 13(2)g of the same law.
"They paid a visit tonight and they told me I had the marching orders and I'm doing it, I'm off, quite peacefully without any fuss," said Mr Gardner.
"I was actually going back to Australia on Saturday and I told the Immigration people I was quite happy to go back. But they said, 'no, tomorrow'."
Mr Gardner said he found it beyond reasonable limits if his Removal Order was based on a Fiji Times court case last week.
On Thursday, Fiji Times Limited was fined $100,000 for contempt of court.
Mr Gardner was discharged but put on a good behaviour bond for 12 months.
Fiji Times editor-in-chief Netani Rika was sentenced to three months in jail suspended for two years.
"The charges against me were dismissed," Mr Gardner said.
"I'm leaving now. It has been a wonderful experience and nice knowing everybody. I got a piece of reading paper that says leave the country, and that's what I'm doing I'm leaving the country."
Mr Gardner said he was given "an obscure clause of an Act" when he asked for the reason for his removal.
The sacking and deportation of foreigners in the country is now almost as if it is a normal thing to hear or to read. Wether with evidence or unclear,Fiji citizens are accepting everything thrown at them and that clearly shows the power the Army is displaying without any respect for anyone.
I can understand the IG's attitude to foreigners but to slap Rika with a 3months jail sentence suspended for 2 years is apalling!
The IG is doing things from what they think is right and not setting up a proper guideline for us to understand how they do things!
Lawlessness is not far away and hope it does not happen in Fiji.
I hope they have enough monies to carry them through, whatever they got in their mind!
I think its not even tit for tat for foreign journalists or any expetriates to get booted out!
I believed that they(IG) are doing exactly what they said in the begginig, a clean up in all areas they think needs be changed to what suits them! And so if anyone smells something will either get the boot(foriegners) straight away or get slapped like Rika if local!
Nothing much can we do in front of a gun but to stand together if we don't agree with some of their proposals i.e Charter. And the yasana has proved to be the best IG opposition politically and traditionally!
Some of the changes could be good I think but we should brace ourselves for better or for worse especially when the noose is around the media neck.
Why don't the IG shut all the media out.............obvisiously he wan't the media to let the world know what they wants & when he pleasess..........sooo tell's you the same story when it suits him,it just turns out to be M............
Just full of crap, or they want you to relax and let the water take its course,there is only one WAY the water flows
Unless ther is A miracle.....water will flow UP..DON'T THINK SO...ya sa na qai vakatau sala vei iratou na noqu DUCK,kevaka eratou makutu kina.
Well - one thing for sure...they are starting to be spooked by their own shadows....
To be deported because they allowed a letter to be published in the letters to the editor's column???? they are a news paper and they just do their job - it is for the IG NOT be intimidated but to work all the more harder to prove their critics wrong!!!
They live in a glass palace and they like to throw stones - they should know that those who live outside will also throw back - so what do they think - only they are entitled to throw stones and no one is allowed to return volley????
When they know that they had taken the power away from the people, there will be a lot of rumbling dissent from all quarters and by now their hides should be tougher than a crocs - but they are just like little spoiled children - they covet their neighbors possession and cries when their neighbor tells them off!!!!! Oilei - GROW UP!!!!
Saturday, January 10, 2009 Our first post
This blog was created to refute the allegations levelled at the present Government. In addition to this, this blog will monitor all anti-IG blogs and users who post comments. We hope that over time, the identities of each individual will become known to the public and that the people realize the damage they are doing to the country and only increase the difficulties the country is currently going through.
Based on our analysis with the Resist-RFC team, we have come to realize that there are civil servants who are frequenting the anti-IG sites. While these people may be doing it from the confines of their homes, the fact does not alter that they are still civil servants and must obey the Government of the day without question. We will use this site to analyse sites such as Raw Fiji News and Solivakasama which discuss terrorism and racism - Fiji must not be allowed to become a wasteland merely because of unsubstantiated claims by these terrorists.
Fiji has had a coup and the people must accept this and be prepared to move on by joining hands with the current government.
Posted by IG-Fiji at 1:42 PM
Labels: fiji coup, rawfijinews, solivakasama
If they preach transparency and accountability then why dont they put a name or names to the piece eh!
Just a thought......hmmmm!!! Sounds more like dire warning/threat to anyone saying anything or typing anything at all that is against the regime.