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Usamate clarifies visa issue

Aqela Susu
Tuesday, November 07, 2017

THE provision of visas for 42 Fijian security workers to go and work at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea solely depends on the PNG Government.

These are the words of Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate regarding the status of the security workers whom he farewelled two weeks ago to go and work in PNG.

"We have worked together with that particular company, but at the end of the day the giving of the visa or not is a sovereign right of that country," he said.

"So whether they move or not depends on whether they're being given the visas."

Mr Usamate said the ministry was working closely with the Fijian High Commission in PNG to address the matter.

"At the end of the day whether they go or not, we would like to see our people being employed in other countries."

The 42 Fijians were recruited by Paladin Solution to work as security officers at Manus Island which has been home to asylum seekers relocated from Australia to PNG between 2001 and 2004 and since 2012.

The Government had earlier refuted reports by the Papua New Guinean media that the group was restricted and detained in PNG.

A statement by the ministry last week said the report was incorrect and the 42 Fijians were still in Fiji.

The ministry had also said that it was working with relevant authorities to ensure that all documentation and procedures were taken care of for these workers

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