Father Barr can stay: PM

By SHALENDRA PRASAD

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has overturned an earlier decision made by the immigration ministry to deport Father Kevin Barr to Australia.

This was confirmed by the PM in a statement released at around 9am this morning.

“Following representations made to me, I have reviewed and reversed the decision made by the Minister of Immigration to cancel the work permit for Kevin Barr,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

“Father Barr is free to remain in the country until his work permit has expired which at that time will still be subject to assessment for renewal following the necessary protocols.”

In an earlier statement the minister for immigration Joketani Cokanasiga said Father Barr had breached conditions of his work permit and was now declared a ‘prohibited immigrant’.

Father Barr had until Sunday, January 27 to leave the country but can now stay until the expiry of his work permit.

The Jet will be contacting the authorities soon to find out the expiry date of Father Barr’s work permit.

It is believed Father Barr’s recent anti government remarks and alleged affiliation with political parties had prompted the immigration department to take the bold step which has however been reversed by the PM now.