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Fiji Time: 6:41 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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PM briefed on cases of Fijians serving in British Army

Avinesh Gopal
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PRIME Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has been briefed on the progress made on cases of Fijians serving in the British Army.

Commodore Bainimarama met with Veterans Aid chief executive officer Doctor Hugh Milroy and an executive Glyn Strong at the Fiji High Commission in London on Monday.

Veterans Aid is a charitable organisation that looks into the wellbeing of British soldiers from foreign and Commonwealth countries.

The organisation last week won the case of Lance Corporal Isimeli "Bale" Baleiwai, who was facing deportation for assaulting a fellow soldier.

His conviction was overturned, thus paving the way for the Fiji-born soldier to remain in Britain with his British wife and two children.

Dr Milroy said he briefed Commodore Bainimarama on his organisation's efforts to highlight the plight of foreign and Commonwealth servicemen who had sought its help after falling foul of immigration anomalies.

"It was an honour to meet with the Prime Minister who took time out from a very busy schedule to discuss the problem," Dr Milroy told The Fiji Times yesterday.

"He had a clear grasp of the issues and was very concerned about the wellbeing of Fijians involved with the British Forces.

"He listened intently as High Commissioner Solo Mara and I explained the excellent progress made and the problems facing us in the future. He asked to be kept personally informed as the situation develops."

The charitable organisation is also dealing with the cases of other Fijian soldiers with the British Army, who are facing various problems, mostly in getting British citizenship.

While Lance-Cpl Baleiwai's appeal against his conviction and deportation were pending, Veterans Aid assisted him in whatever way possible to keep the family going.