USP appoints Dr Paunga as acting vc, to probe Ahluwalia deportation

Fokotu'u 'e he USP 'a Dr Masaso Paunga ke Tokoni Saniselā Le'ole'o 'o fakatotolo'i 'a hono tipooti mei Fisi 'o Palōfesa Ahluwalia.

This RNZ.co.nz news is republished with permission

Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Paunga has been appointed acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific following a full day USP Council meeting today.

Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Paunga. Photo/TBC

Paunga, who currently holds the position of Deputy VC Regional Campuses, Estates and Infrastructure, was appointed today following the deportation of Vice-Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia.

Professor Aluwhalia and his wife were arrested at their Suva home on Wednesday night, told they were deemed a threat to the Fiji public, and swiftly deported to Australia.

The USP Council has this afternoon released a statement saying they were not consulted over Professor Pal Ahluwalia’s deportation.

The Council states that it has not dismissed Professor Ahluwalia and expressed disappointment that it was not advised, as his employer, of the decision by Fiji’s government to deport him.

The Council has established a Sub-committee, chaired by the President of Nauru including the Council Representatives of Australia, Tonga, Niue, Solomon Islands, Samoa and two Senate Representatives to look into matters surrounding the controversial deportation.

The meeting today also discussed the possibility of a Vice-Chancellor being based in and operating out of another country apart from Fiji.

The sub-committee is to bring recommendations on these matters to the Council as soon as possible.

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