15 Jul 2005

Fiji government warns foreign workers to keep out of political activities

1:58 pm on 15 July 2005

Fiji's Attorney General says its the government's right to revoke work permits for foreign workers who breach their conditions of stay by participating in political activities.

Qoriniasi Bale made the comment following reports in the Fiji Times that the government has warned foreign investors and businessmen not to criticise the Reconciliation and Unity Bill, or risk losing their work permits.

The Times reports that the order has been issued by the chief executive of the ministry of home affairs, Dr Lesi Korovavala, in a letter to the Fiji Employers Federation, which has a high powered corporate membership.

Mr Bale says the immigration department has warned foreign workers to keep out of political activities.

"Well, like any government, if you breach your conditions for staying in that country, the government is at liberty to sanction you for it, whether it results in a cancellation or warning or whatever, that's the prerogative of the government."

Mr Bale says the Fiji government is acting no differently from any other government.