Renowned Fijian academic Brij Lal, emeritus professor of Pacific and Asian History at the Australian National University, has died at his home in Australia.
Described as a distinguished son of Fiji, Professor Lal was expelled from his homeland in 2009 after speaking out against the interim regime after the 2006 coup.
He was particularly critical of the regime's decision to expel New Zealand and Australian diplomats.
Professor Lal helped draft the 1997 constitution, and witnessed its abrogation by the Bainimarama-led government in 2009.
In 2015, he told RNZ Pacific that he had reapplied to return to Fiji.
However his return was barred by the Government, on the grounds that he opposed Fiji's return to democracy: an allegation he denied.
The Fijian Government confirmed, in 2015 that Professor Lal's ban would remain in place indefinitely .
In 2019, the leader of the National Federation Party Biman Prasad attacked the Fiji government for exiling the Professor and continually denying him reentry to Fiji.
Tributes have been pouring in from across the Pacific.
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