(o) NZ Refutes Gates' Allegation
Fiji Village reports the NZ HighCom as saying the delay in issuing Judge Anjala Wati's medical visas was because some issues needed clarification. If the visa had been denied, as claimed by Chief Justice Gates, the Wati family passports would have been returned. Instead, they were retained by the HC and returned later with the visas included. New Zealand says travel ban exemptions have always been made where medical, humanitarian, or compassionate grounds have been substantiated.
Who to believe? There's probably some truth in both statements. No absolute denial; just a little bit of preliminary intimidation.
For a full account, including details of Anjala's interview at the High Com in NZ Stuff, click here.
(+) Ewins Rescues Australia's Reputation. He writes ...
Bravo to Chief Justice Gates for his statement on the travel bans imposed by Australia and New Zealand on the judiciary and magistracy of Fiji.The instances he cites, from Judge Wati's baby to the attempted intimidation of Sri Lankan judges, make infuriating reading. But so does the arrogant disdain shown to the Chief Justice of an independent judiciary in a sovereign nation neighbouring their home countries, by the Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners in response to his approaches. If this is how our "diplomats" behave, then there must be an attempt to re-define the meaning of the word diplomacy in Antipodean manuals. Like Humpty Dumpty retorting to Alice in "Through the Looking Glass", they apparently believe it is their word, and means whatever they want it to. One can only hope they meet HD's fate.
They shame us, the citizens of their countries, as does the policy they mindlessly enforce without doing as in good conscience they should, and make strong representations to their own governments to have these unjustifiable policies dropped.
* Fiji-born, of four generations of Fiji Ewins, Dr Rod Ewins is a social anthropologist, artist and author who has researched Fijian art and culture for over 20 years. For information on his latest book Staying Fijian, click here. He lives in Nubeena, Tasmania.