By Talebula Kate in Suva
A United States national has been deported after swearing at the President of Fiji, Jioji Konrote, last week, it was reported today.
Director of Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa confirmed this in a government statement saying Karen Seaton, a citizen of the United States, was deported from Fiji after she breached the terms of her residency permit by yelling an obscenity at the President on November 30, 2016.
“This unprovoked use of the ‘f word’ directed towards Fiji’s Head of State cannot be tolerated and Karen Seaton was subsequently detained and escorted onto a plane bound for the US,” Vuniwaqa said.
“Karen Seaton’s appearance before a parliamentary committee had no bearing whatsoever on the circumstances of her deportation,” he said.
Talebula Kate is a Fiji Times reporter.
Asia Pacific Report editor: Correspondents have since challenged The Fiji Times and Fiji government version of this deportation, blaming the incident on the “heinous Land Sales Act” and a “clearly provoked” outcry.
“The heinous Land Sales Act unjustly criminalises foreign-property owners retrospectively, forcing foreigners to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in building homes on properties (on outer islands without the infrastructure to accommodate building) purchased prior to the laws enactment,” writes Gene Catrambone.
“Ms Seaton’s anger was directed at the Act and any reasonable witness would attest to her legitimate right to protest the law’s unfairness.”
The correspondents also criticised the role of the “censored” media.
Read their comments below.
Seaton herself has also rejected the “slanderous, unsubstantiated allegations” in an email to Asia Pacific Report.