USP management takes on duties of VC Pal who Immigration says “breached Act”

University of the South Pacific senior management team has taken over duties of vice-chancellor after the deportation of Professor Pal Ahluwalia and his wife Sandra Price, both of whom, Fiji’s Immigration said: “repeatedly violated the terms of their work permits.”

In a statement, the ministry said they breached Section 13 of the Immigration Act 2003 which provides that “no foreigner is permitted to conduct themselves in a manner prejudicial to the peace, defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, security, or good government of Fiji.”

The ministry said Professor Pal and Price were unlike “thousands of foreign citizens on work permits in Fiji who conduct themselves and their business in line with the requirements of the Immigration Act.”

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, the statement said.

Meanwhile, in an email to students and staff this afternoon, the university’s senior management team said it would jointly handle VC duties until the USP Council says otherwise.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students and the continuation of university operations remain our priority, the email read.

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