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USP Chair confirms VC contract issue being discussed

February 5, 2021 12:51 pm
Chair of University of the South Pacific Council, Lionel Aingimea and ousted Vice-Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia. [File Photo]

The chair of University of the South Pacific Council, Lionel Aingimea, says issues relating to the contract of ousted Vice-Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia is being discussed today.

Aingimea, who is also the Nauru President, says this is one of the main agenda during the virtual council meeting currently underway.

In response to questions from FBC News, President Aingimea has confirmed that Ahluwalia’s contract is terminated because of his deportation and cancellation of his work permit in Fiji.

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However, he says the contract of Ahluwalia was already on the agenda of the meeting that was to be held last Friday but was adjourned because of Tropical Cyclone Ana.

President Aingimea says without a VC, the USPs senior management team will jointly undertake the VCs duties until council provides direction.

He also adds just prior to departing Fiji bound for Brisbane, Nauru weighed the circumstances of the couple spending two weeks in quarantine in Brisbane and offered assistance that they transit from Brisbane to Nauru.

The Fijian Government says Professor Ahluwalia and his wife Sandra Price had at numerous times breached the provisions of Section 13 of the Immigration Act.

The Government in a statement says the actions of the Vice-Chancellor and his wife have clearly violated the terms of their work permits, resulting in their subsequent deportation.

Meanwhile, the Council meeting continues and journalists gathered at the Laucala Campus are not allowed anywhere near the meeting venue at the ICT Centre.

Security personnel have been quick to push back and even escort journalists away from the meeting venue.

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