NEWS

Winston Thompson: University Of The South Pacific Council Moves To Suspend Me

Speaking to the Fiji Sun yesterday, Mr Thompson said the motion was null and void since the council voted to reinstate Professor Pal Ahluwalia.
21 Jun 2020 13:14
Winston Thompson: University Of The South Pacific Council Moves To Suspend Me
University of the South Pacific Pro Chancellor and Council Chair, Winston Thompson. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The University of the South Pacific (USP) Council is expected to hold a second meeting next week to discuss moves to suspend Council Chair Pro-Chancellor, Winston Thompson.

This follows a motion to suspend Mr Thompson that was carried during the council meeting on Friday.

Mr Thompson was not present at the meeting after the council voted for him to recuse himself.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun yesterday, Mr Thompson said the motion was null and void since the council voted to reinstate Professor Pal Ahluwalia.

It is understood that the motion was for Mr Thompson to vacate his seat as Chairman of the Council for the duration of the investigations against Professor Ahluwalia.

“My understanding of the motion that was carried was to reinstate the vice-chancellor. There was a second part to that if the vice-chancellor remained suspended and under investigation then I would also be suspended as the pro-chancellor, so much of the flack has been directed at me,” he said.

Mr Thompson said he was informed that the conclusion of the motion was incomplete and that the council would still consider the issue of his suspension.

His removal from the meeting is an issue that Mr Thompson said needed to be examined.

“The question of my removal from the chair, I will be taking up further because I think it is questionable in terms of the legality of what was done.

“I was excluded from the meeting before even consideration of the paper that I had put forward, which is for natural justice at least to be given the opportunity to say what I have to say before being excluded from the meeting.

“I am going to be reviewing that situation and how it was done.”

Mr Thompson said an investigation into allegations of material misconduct against Professor Ahluwalia still needed to be conducted.

Mr Thompson has a distinguished record as a Fijian public servant and diplomat. But his role has been questioned by some non-Fijian members of the Council.

Efforts to get a comment from Minister for Education Rosy Akbar – who was at the meeting –  were unsuccessful.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedbackfonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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