Editorial | Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: Terrorist Neil Prakash Is Australia’s Problem Not Fiji’s, So Keep Him Away From Here

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made Fiji’s stand clear. Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist Neil Prakash is not welcome here. He is a threat to Fiji. He is not a citizen
04 Jan 2019 13:09
EDITORIAL: Terrorist Neil Prakash Is Australia’s Problem Not Fiji’s, So Keep Him Away From Here
Neil Prakash.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made Fiji’s stand clear.

Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist Neil Prakash is not welcome here. He is a threat to Fiji.

He is not a citizen of Fiji, he does not qualify to be one and we are not going to entertain or accommodate him.

Because he is not a citizen of Fiji, he has no right to be deported here.

In fact, Prakash was never Fiji’s problem since the beginning.

He was an Australian citizen until December 29, 2018 when the Australian Government notified Prakash that his Australian citizenship had ceased due to being in the service of Islamic State.

This is part of Australia’s response to international violent extremism and terrorism.

Prakash, 27, who was born in Melbourne, is in a Turkish jail. Australia had every right to revoke his citizenship because of his terrorist activities.

But where it became complicated was when it discovered that Prakash could not go to Fiji because he is not a Fijian citizen. It had previously assumed that he was. It could not render Prakash stateless.

Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton claimed that Prakash was a citizen of Fiji because his father was born here.

This is impossible because Fijian law explicitly states that Prakash cannot automatically become a Fijian citizen through his father as it is applied for.

There is no record with the Fiji Immigration Department of Prakash entering the country or applying for citizenship since birth.

Prakash’s father went to Australia and became an Australian citizen. His mother is Cambodian.

In another case of Mr Dutton shooting himself in the foot was when he said: “The Government has been in close contact with the Government of Fiji since Mr Prakash was determined to have lost his citizenship.”

Director for the Fiji Immigration Department, Nemani Vuniwaqa denied talking to Mr Dutton or any other Australian official.

This whole fiasco looks bad on Australia because it appears as if it is trying to bully Fiji and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is coming here soon to try to convince Mr Bainimarama to be accommodating in light of the assistance and aid Australia has poured into Fiji.

What makes Australia think that Fiji would want to receive Prakash when it sees him  as a threat to national security?

Mr Bainimarama has publicy declared Fiji’s position that Prakash is banned from coming here because he is a terrorist.

He is unlikely to change his position because it is a principled stand.

Australia needs to swallow its pride, admit that it made a blunder, reverse its decision and let Prakash return home where he can be locked up or send him to Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Do not try to bully Fiji.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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