NEWS

Qiliho to Fijian ‘asylum-seekers’ in Australia: Safe to live in Fiji

Couple in Sydney facing deportation claim it is not safe to return here It is safe to live in Fiji, declares Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho. Brigadier-General Qiliho was responding
04 Apr 2017 11:00
Qiliho to Fijian ‘asylum-seekers’  in Australia: Safe to live in Fiji
Jitend Prasad and his wife Joytika arrived in Australia in June 2000 shortly after the military coup in Fiji. They have exhausted every possible legal avenue to stay in the country. Picture: Jeremy Piper\DAILY TELEGRAPH

Couple in Sydney facing deportation claim it is not safe to return here

It is safe to live in Fiji, declares Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho.

Brigadier-General Qiliho was responding to a claim by Fijian couple Jiten and Joytika Prasad, who are facing deportation from Australia, that it is not safe for them to return to Fiji.

The Commissioner said: “Australians make the biggest number of tourists that visit our shores.

“We are a safe country. That is why they visit here, year in and year out.”

He said the security environment was conducive to tourists enjoying their holiday here.

“That is why Australian tourists keep coming here,” he said.

“We recently released our crime statistics which showed an overall reduction of four per cent in the crime rate in the country last year.”

The Prasad family arrived in Sydney in the year 2000 and have two Australian-born children who cannot be deported because they are full citizens, with Australian passports.

They have lived for 17 years in Eastlakes, Southern Sydney, with children Jasmita, 15, Jasneel, 12, attending Randwick Girls’ High and Mascot Public respectively.

The Prasads sought asylum status, but were refused.

The family claimed that they were caught up in threats and violence by indigenous Fijians (iTaukei) from a nearby village during the 2000 coup in Fiji and would suffer discrimination and degrading treatment on the grounds of their ethnicity if they returned.

Australian Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke declined to exercise his discretionary powers to keep the family together and compliance officials from the Immigration Department have warned the family that deportation action could begin from today.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedbackrosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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