Fiji’s Home Affairs Minister apologises to Opposition MPs

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Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua leaving parliament with Assistant Minister for Women Sashi Kiran yesterday – Friday, March 31, 2023. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Fiji’s Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua has apologised to members of Opposition who were “harassed” at the airport before travelling.

Leader of the Opposition Inia Seruiratu yesterday posed a question to Mr Tikoduadua and sought assistance from him in this regard.

Mr Seruiratu said another member, Semi Koroilavesau, had raised a similar question about him being pulled aside at the Nadi International Airport while going through immigration.

“It has happened to me too,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“Although carrying a blue passport, I’m still pulled aside at the immigration. Same thing with Veena (Bhatnagar). She was pulled aside as well. And she returned her diplomatic passport on the day she left office.

“For the rest of us, we were awaiting instructions from Ministry of Foreign Affairs but we have now taken the initiative to return it. Although we kept it with us, we did not use it.

“We are using our blue passports but we are still harassed at the airport. Can the Honourable Minister assist in this please?”

In response, Mr Tikoduadua offered his apologies to the members.

“It is not necessary, and no one should be subjected to that, particularly any member of this honourable House,” the Minister said.

“Let me assure the Leader of the Opposition and all my colleagues on the other side of the House that it is not our intention to create any hassle for anybody and that really should not be the issue at all.

“… It is some elements of confusion that needs to be cleared and this I’m going to look at according to the request of the Leader of the Opposition and I apologise once again.”

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