PHOTO: Fiji Landowners Association Calls for Travel Boycott to Fiji
For Immediate Release
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif./EWORLDWIRE/Dec. 10, 2016 ---
The Fiji Landowners Association (FLOA), an organization representing almost 5,000 non-citizen owners of free-hold land in Fiji, is calling for a boycott on travel to that country after one of its members, Karen Seaton, a Fiji resident, was summarily sent out of the country after giving testimony before the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination committee in Parliament on Friday, December 2.
For almost two years, Seaton has been strenuously lobbying Fiji government officials in an effort to have Act 16 of the Land Sales Act amended to remove its retrospective enforcement which includes fines or imprisonment or both for non-citizen landowners that remain delinquent of the law's requirements for building overpriced homes on their lots after December 31. Seaton and other non-citizen landowners have stated that Fiji government officials have been unresponsive to their appeals. (http://www.eworldwire.com/pressreleases/314544).
In testifying before the parliamentary committee, Seaton was eventually successful at entering into the public record the testimonials written by numerous non-citizen landowners asking the Fiji government for a redress of their concerns. The following morning, Fiji immigration authorities, at the behest of ruling party officials, entered Seaton's motel room in Suva where she was physically restrained along with having her personal property seized, including her mobile phone. Seaton was denied consular access, not allowed to make any phone calls and was taken to the airport under guard with only the clothes on her back. She was then put on a plane and sent out of the country to the U.S.
Seaton's home on Koro Island remains unsecured at this time.
U.S. Embassy officials in Suva, Fiji, publicly stated that they will investigate the circumstances surrounding Seaton's deportation. To date, Seaton reports that she has not been contacted by U.S. consular or State Department officials to learn if she is safe and unharmed, or to get her side of the incident.
In calling for the travel boycott, FLOA spokesperson Dave Rand stated, "When state-sponsored aggression is employed, it creates an 'open season' on all foreigners, and no one is truly safe. A full week has passed since Karen was deported, and U.S. consular officials still haven’t taken Karen's phone calls or reached out to her personally to learn of her well-being. This lack of urgency, engagement, compassion and responsiveness on the part of U.S. Embassy officials conducting a review of all the facts in the forcible deportation of a U.S. citizen is not only outrageous but a further indication of the serious risks posed to foreign nationals considering Fiji as a travel destination.
"Although a travel boycott may be trying for the country in the short term, it will surely benefit Fiji and its people in the long term by raising awareness to these injustices. It is injustices like these that have destroyed tourism completely for many other small nations."
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Fiji Land Owners Association
23371 Mulholland Dr
Woodland Hills , CA 91364
Photo: Fiji Landowners Association Urges Travel Boycott (size: 0.0 kb)
Karen Seaton, a Fiji resident, testifies before Parliament
Photo: Fiji Landowners Association (FLOA) (size: 0.0 kb)
The Fiji Landowners Association (FLOA), an organization representing almost 5,000 non-citizen owners of free-hold land in Fiji