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Reactions pour in after VC deportation

February 4, 2021 11:49 am
Professor Pal Ahluwalia [Source: NFP]

Opposition Political Parties say the deportation of University of the South Pacific Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pal Ahluwalia and his partner Sandra Price, is not right.

The National Federation Party claims there has been zero respect shown for the 50 years of work of thousands of leaders, public servants, staff and students who have made this the most successful South Pacific regional body.

NFP says Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, in his capacity as Minister for Immigration, should immediately rescind the deportation order to salvage Fiji’s fast waning reputation in the region.

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SODELPA Leader, Viliame Gavoka, says this episode unfortunately will have a drastic impact on Fiji’s relationship with our Pacific Island nations and their people.

He adds as a people within a much larger Pacific Community, the unilateral treatment of the region’s university leader by Fiji shows contempt to our Pacific family.

Leader of the Opposition, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu the action is inappropriate and harmful for diplomatic relations particularly when carried out at this time when

Fiji must build bridges with the international community.

He claims it is unfortunate that this decision may have long-term implication for the bilateral Vuvale-Partnership, and the support given by Australia. It also gives the wrong signal to other development partners supporting the university.

SODELPA MP Ro Teimumu Kepa says the deportation of the Vice Chancellor is creating confusion, chaos, and ill will on the eve of a crucial meeting of the USP Council.

She says the Fiji government does not own the USP and the university belongs to the countries of the region.

The Fijian Government says the two were ordered to leave following continuous breaches by both individuals of Section 13 of the Immigration Act.

It says after repeated breaches by both individuals of the stated provisions of Section 13 of the Immigration Act, their actions have clearly violated the terms of their work permits, resulting in their subsequent deportation.

Similar criteria have been applied to other foreign nationals in Fiji in the past and, as a sovereign nation, Fiji will continue to enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards any breaches of its immigration law.

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