Asian & baby boom in Rennell, gov’t unaware

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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

RENNELL island is reported to be experiencing a flash flood of Asians, who are employed there for the Bauxite operations.

This rapid and huge influx is not sitting well with the women advocators of Rennell island.

They are calling on the national and provincial authorities to ‘screen’ these aliens, furthering their queries to the legality of the Asians’ presence – if they have work permits or not.

A woman advocator representative, who requests anonymity, says the increasing number of Asians on the island poses a lot of social problems.

She says people in Rennell wonder whether authorities of the country know of the presence of these Asians.

She says that rife in Rennell island are incidence of unwanted pregnancy, fatherless children, human trafficking and alcohol and other substance abuse by women, youths and children.

The advocator says all these are happening under watch of the national and provincial government, and these two authorities are doing nothing to quell them.

They call on the national government and responsible authorities to look at this issue seriously when considering Bauxite mining to continue operating there.

Meanwhile, speaking to Island Sun, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) said they are not aware of Asians populating Rennell – neither their entry or work permit.

MCILI said such issue is difficult to address because there are varieties of government authorities to deal with the issue.

The Ministry also explained they are not really sure as to whether the Asians come under visitors permit or work permit.

MCILI explained that there are process in place which the immigration and labour division was established for.

“If they come as visitors then they should obtain permits from the Immigration Division, and if for work permit then the Division responsible is Labour.”

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