BUCCANEER~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2012/11/27 09:54:06
He should be allowed to stay
l think (please leave a comment)
Add Photos & Videos

Fijian-born soldier Isimeli Baleiwai fights to stay in
Isimeli Baleiwai at home Isimeli Baleiwai at home with
his two children, aged three and six

A Fijian man who served in the
British Army for 13 years is fighting to stay in the UK after being told he must
leave the country by 9 August.

Isimeli Baleiwai served in Afghanistan and Iraq, before leaving the Army in
June. He is married to a UK national.

But disciplinary action for a 2010 fight with a colleague means he is
considered to have a criminal record.

The Border Agency said applications for settlement by ex-forces personnel
were considered the same way as all others.

"This involves consideration of a range of factors including unspent
convictions, whether passed by military courts or resulting from police
involvement," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Lance Corporal Baleiwai - known as "Bale" - was born in Fiji but told the
BBC's Angus Crawford he now considered the UK his home. He is married to Kim - a
British national with whom he has two children, aged three and six.

The 32-year-old applied for British citizenship in March 2012 because he
planned to leave the Army. He left voluntarily on 15 June after 13 years'

Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain
after four years' service, and citizenship after five.

L/Cpl Baleiwai served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq twice and once in

In 2011, his commanding officer said his performance was "of an exceptionally
high standard". L/Cpl Baleiwai was rated "an excellent junior NCO [non
commissioned officer]" who was "always leading from the front". "He is
charismatic, selfless and well-liked," the officer said.

I wasn't good enough to be a citizen of this country and
yet throughout those 13 years I've paid my taxes, I've served Queen and country
and I felt betrayed at this point”

But on 28 June 2012, L/Cpl Baleiwai heard that he had
been refused citizenship and would also be refused Indefinite Leave to Remain
because he had what the UK Border Agency (UKBA) classed as a criminal conviction
so was not of "good character". On 12 July he was informed by letter that he
must leave the country by 9 August.

L/Cpl Baleiwai said he had returned from Afghanistan "a mess", suffering from
flashbacks and drinking heavily.

"To me, there was nothing wrong - I was normal. But now that we've had time
to look back, everything was going wrong. The drinking was getting out of hand;
I was getting in a mess that I was struggling to get out of." L/Cpl Baleiwai
said that he then ended up brawling with his colleague.

Under changes in 2010 to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974,
disciplinary offences and crimes under military law automatically carry over
into civilian life. However, our correspondent said many disciplinary offences
in the military would not be offences in civilian life and the military process
lacked some of the checks and balances of civilian courts.

L/Cpl Baleiwai said that his fight lasted less than a minute and his
colleague suffered a broken filling. He pleaded guilty at the subsequent
disciplinary hearing before his commanding officer and was fined £1,000. He said
he had been offered a solicitor but waived his right because he just "wanted the
case to go away".

"To me as far as I understood it, that was it - that was the end of it," he
said. However, the incident is now preventing him from staying with his family
in Britain.

'Implications are massive'

L/Cpl Baleiwai said that soldiers coming back from combat zones were likely
to be emotionally damaged as a result of serving Britain, and that the UKBA
should make allowances when considering their applications.

Isimeli Baleiwai in Iraq Isimeli Baleiwai completed two
tours in Iraq, as well as serving in Afghanistan and Bosnia

"We're not going to be coming back of sound mind and good character because
of what we've been through - the trauma we've been through," he said. "People
who are making these rules, passing those laws, they don't understand what that
feels like."

L/Cpl Baleiwai and his wife have written to their MP, the Home Office, Number
10, the Ministry of Defence, the Labour Party and former head of the Army Lord
Dannatt to try to get permission for him to stay. So far, they have had no

"I was proud to have served in the Army and for that 13 years service I was
seen as a British soldier but to the UK Border Agency, as soon as that uniform
comes off I'm no longer a British soldier, but just a foreign Commonwealth
person trying to reside in the UK," he said.

"But at this point I had a British family, I had a British wife - two kids
that are British - and I'd been given this letter saying that I wasn't good
enough. I wasn't good enough to be a citizen of this country and yet throughout
those 13 years I've paid my taxes, I've served Queen and country and I felt

Mrs Baleiwai said that the support the couple had received had reminded her
of why she was "proud to be British" but that what had happened to her husband
made her "feel ashamed".

"I want to fight this for my husband and my family because I believe it's
wrong - I've believe it's incompetent of the government to make these
decisions," she said.

Veterans Aid chief executive Dr Hugh Milroy said it seemed "completely
incredible" that L/Cpl Baleiwai was being barred from the UK because of his

"This is so minuscule as an incident, but the implications are massive," he
said. "This should have been done and dusted and gone."

The UKBA ( UK boarder agency) is a farce,and our government an even bigger one,
led by the nose by it's EU puppet masters it lacks the guts to ignore the courts and deport scum like Abu Quatada,wanted in his own country Jordan on terrorist charges
he is once again walking the streets here,living on benefits and has had the audacity to demand a bigger house for him and his family paid for by the taxpayer!!

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • sglmom 2012/11/27 10:32:05
    l think (please leave a comment)
    Knowing others who did brawl in the on-post clubs ..
    this is something that most don't realize . .
    the MILITARY Requires a HIGHER Standard of conduct than the Civilian World ..
    and the ramifications to one's service career are high indeed ..

    Now saying this ..
    he's served well during his service years ..
    and has a stable family life .. with a citizen and citizen children too ..
    he's done this honorably .. on the up and up ...
    no demands ..

    This should be reviewed .. and he should be at least granted the leave to remain ..
    and given this misconduct is in the past ..
    a review after another year or two ..
    if no further problems with alcohol ..
    then do his citizenship..

    (after all .. he's HONORED the nation .. and paid taxes all along.)

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • Debs 2012/12/05 21:32:50
    He should be allowed to stay
    Good grief..these cases make my blood boil, just like the gurkhas..they have more rights than some of the 'other' people entering and staying in our country,..they served along side our own with pride and still do..damn our governmental laws and law makers total lack of respect for any of our armed forces and those that served and still serving in deserts and mountains because of idiotic political arse creeping decisions they need putting through a mincer and fed to pigs..sorry, bit of an emotional subject at the moment..
  • BUCCANE... Debs 2012/12/05 21:41:25
    Thanks Debs, comes to something when terrorists are afforded more protection and consideration than those who defend us

    This piece of filth is case in point brit muslim terrorists
  • Debs BUCCANE... 2012/12/05 22:00:53
    Too true Bucc, I'm a proud mum who said goodbye for now to a son(RAF) last sunday, why!? When they allow evil sons of satan to remain plotting and planning in our country,and subsidise them as well. none of it makes sense. and those that do serve and protect us with pride get pooped on and get treated like second rate citizens!! Total lack of respect in my opinion..these are the people that should be allowed to stay, even more so because he obviously suffered while over there doing his job for them and us.
  • ticlo7 2012/12/05 17:50:55
    l think (please leave a comment)
    The military does indeed require a higher level of self-control and conduct than the average citizen. I can see why this would be looked into.

    That being said, he's a better citizen than most of those who are British-born and it's an honour to have him with us. The UKBA were never good, but this is rock bottom.

    I think this case is in dire need of a review. Check if he has any problems with drugs, alcohol, etc...in the years to come and if not, let him stay. After all, his has a stable family life within the UK and continues to pay taxes.

    Should the rest of the UK population realise what's happening, I'm sure most will fight on his side. And maybe one day we can get rid of the idiots in charge of the UKBA and actually make it work.
  • Arizona1950 2012/12/05 13:10:00
    He should be allowed to stay
    He served the country of his choice for 13 years ... what's wrong with these people ... ?
  • BUCCANE... Arizona... 2012/12/05 13:32:55 (edited)
    Liberal minded idiots Arizona. perfectly happy to allow terrorists to stay here" to protect their human rights " though!
  • ♫♫blindfaith♫ 2012/12/02 21:07:51
    He should be allowed to stay
    I'm at a loss, why would he want to stay in a country that has a spineless government. I know nothing at all about Fiji, but it always sounds exotic, just take the army pension and the family back to paradise and live a better life than he would have in the UK.
  • BUCCANE... ♫♫blind... 2012/12/02 21:26:17
    Interesting question Blind,M8 may be that his wife is English and wishes to stay here
  • ♫♫blind... BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 21:35:28
    Hi Bucc, it was just a different take. I can understand his wish to stay and agree that there should be no problem with that, i'm getting tired of shouting at politicians via the tv set. Gone are the days when our leaders actually held a rifle or had any Military experience, i'm afraid that just like America, we are stuck with a Liberal bunch of gutless, spineless morons. Nice to see Sgnt Nightingale a free man, maybe people power has a chance to right the wrongs, we live in hope.
  • BUCCANE... ♫♫blind... 2012/12/02 21:53:48
    I share your sentiments Blind,as we used to say in the mob Farting against thunder,the shower of pox ridden mother fcukers who play at politics these days only do so because they arn't even of the abyssemaly poor calibre to attain z list celebrity status scum politicians
  • BUCCANE... BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 21:58:19
  • ♫♫blind... BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 22:14:02
    Yes, the antichrist. Didn't he say that he was just 'a regular guy'....slippery as a snake. Regular guys don't kill scientists who disagree with them (David Kelly), and they don't start wars, this man has more blood on his hands than Atilla the Hun.
  • BUCCANE... ♫♫blind... 2012/12/02 22:31:33
    And the Blair Bitch project,mussie loving slapper tony and  cheri blair
  • ♫♫blind... BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 22:36:58
    But to them she is just an infidel....they never learn do they.
  • BUCCANE... ♫♫blind... 2012/12/02 22:39:02
    True M8, never
  • ♫♫blind... BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 22:00:05
    Yep, they are just an extension of the United Nations, a total waste of space. un agenda 21
  • BUCCANE... ♫♫blind... 2012/12/02 22:05:10
    For un

    READ NewWorld Order
  • ♫♫blind... BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 22:08:52
    This it would seem is the future, we are all going to hell in a handcart !!!
  • BUCCANE... ♫♫blind... 2012/12/05 18:05:39
    Not me me old mucker !! bpat
  • ♫♫blind... BUCCANE... 2012/12/05 20:21:16
    Well said Bucc, all we need now is a revolution....starting with the Vets, your allegiance is to the Sovereign, even your country comes second.
    I wonder how many thousands would follow such a march ??
  • BUCCANE... ♫♫blind... 2012/12/05 21:16:42
    You should have been with our contingent on remembrance sunday
    when Bliar and the rest of the charlatans formed up, Lynch mob in the wings!!
  • Jan 2012/12/01 22:51:50
    l think (please leave a comment)
    Oops. I meant to tick yes but the thing scrolled up as I pressed the key and now I've ticked the wrong one.
    If the man was good enough to fight in our armed services he should have the right to live here. (Except if he were a paedophile or murderer).
  • BUCCANE... Jan 2012/12/02 00:09:58
    Or terrosrist rable rouser!
  • Jan BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 11:32:03
    Of course. I forgot that one
  • BUCCANE... Jan 2012/12/02 17:49:02 (edited)
    Understandable,there are so many to choose from Jan !!
  • Jan BUCCANE... 2012/12/02 19:47:11
    Too right there are :-)
  • ruthannhausman 2012/11/30 18:12:35
    He should be allowed to stay
    I understand both the rule and the need for it. However, some modicum of common sense should be applied. There should be reviews on a case-by-case basis and, based on that review, allowances for exceptions to the rule without destroying the whole purpose. The "criminal behavior" really sounds to me like something that he could very easily have gotten away without any problems on most days but happened to get disciplined that particular day. In other words, doesn't sound awfully much like a total threat to society here. After 13 years of loyal service, plus his wife and children's citizenship, this man sounds like a good risk to stay. Seems to me if they force him to leave they are going to either break up a family, which isn't very nice or, two, they'll force legal British citizens to be exiled from their own country if they wish to remain a family.

    I'm not very big on making exceptions to practical rules, but this one kinda cries out for one.
  • atomikmom 2012/11/29 03:02:50
    l think (please leave a comment)
    I think they need to run a strong search on his life history and decide if he should stay or he should leave, that's the right way.
  • Tropiceagle33 2012/11/28 21:06:03
    l think (please leave a comment)
    he should leave, if all foreign criminals are allowed to stay in UK, what sort of state are we becoming?
    Moreover this is n't the first case that I have heard of people entering UK whether for study or illness treatment and are allowed a certain amount of time and they breach it and close the trust line so HE SHOULD GO HOME
  • BUCCANE... Tropice... 2012/11/28 21:30:20
    RAVED IN ERROR read it you moronic sock
  • doofieg... Tropice... 2012/11/28 22:05:10
    doofiegirl  BTO-t- BCRA-F ~PWCM~
    If all Jewish Native American Brits were allowed to remain in the United Kingdom, it would soon be over run with the dumb dumbs! What an Utterly ridiculous statement!
  • seadog6... Tropice... 2012/11/29 01:56:23
  • BUCCANE... seadog6... 2012/11/29 08:11:08
    That type are gutless freeloaders SD
  • TerryAgee 2012/11/28 19:55:24
    He should be allowed to stay
    He wore the uniform and carried a rifle.
  • BUCCANE... TerryAgee 2012/11/28 19:56:52
    Nuff said TerryAgee
  • beernbugs 2012/11/28 17:17:14
    He should be allowed to stay
    I agree with sglmom.
  • JOHN C 2012/11/28 15:41:19
    He should be allowed to stay
    JOHN C
    he ought for the crown.....he should be allowed to stay
  • Ashley 2012/11/28 13:29:16
    He should be allowed to stay
    Many have done worse and are still allowed to stay in the country.
  • Eccles 2012/11/28 06:31:27
    He should be allowed to stay
    Get Johanna Lumley on the case she did it for the Gurkas
  • Chi~Cat 2012/11/28 02:09:28 (edited)
    He should be allowed to stay
    Kick out the dirtbaggers. Tell me why haven't nuked these f*cks? To hell with them. They have no mercy, I have no mercy towards any FOE. That's for damn sure. Do US wrong, one day, you'll beg for mercy. I have no compunction in leaving a slimebucket's ass in the desert without water. DO me wrong, my family, my country, Well, expect the unexpected. Simple.


See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2016/02/14 08:06:23

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals