Fiji's Archbishop in line for Australian Govt ban

Fiji's Archbishop Petereo Mataca may not be allowed to enter Australia due to his political ties to the country's interim military-led regime that led the coup earlier this year.

Archibishop Mataca (pictured), who accepted the position of co-chair of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji, together with interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, may be subject to travel restrictions imposed by the Australian government.

FijiLive reports that Mataca is planning to attend church meetings in Australia and New Zealand as Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji and chairman of the Council of Pacific Island Bishops.

While not confirming Archbishop Mataca's immigration status, the Australian High Commission maintains that all members and supporters of the military-led interim regime will not be allowed travel to Australia.

A spokesperson from the Australian High Commission said, "the travel restrictions apply to interim government appointments, for instance to senior public service positions and government boards".

A partial relaxation of Australia's travel restrictions may apply once the appointment of the Supervisor of Elections and members of the Constituency Boundaries Commission have been finalised.

"We have already indicated that exemptions would be considered on a case by case basis for persons appointed to elections-related positions."

Mataca travel hangs in the balance (Fijilive, 14/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archbishop Petero Mataca - Archbisop of Suva

No sanctions for Fiji, Archbishop pleads (CathNews, 15/12/06)
Catholic Church condemns coup (CathNews, 29/01/2000)
Hypocritical to criticise coup now, Fiji Archbishop tells churches (CathNews, 11/12/06)
Fiji archbishop attacks Aust over "colonial" coup critique (CathNews, 25/01/07)
Concern over Fiji Archbishop's appointment (CathNews, 30/10/07)

15 Nov 2007