USP vice chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia and his wife have been detained to be deported out of Fiji later this morning.Mrs Sandy Ahluwalia could not talk for long when we tried calling her husband’s telephone a short while ago.
“We can’t talk, we’re being deported on 11am flight today,” she whispered before the call was terminated.
The couple is believed to be at the Nadi International Airport.USP staff tell us immigration officers arrested the VC and his wife at their home at the USP Campus around 11pm last night and took them by car on the three-hour drive to Nadi airport.
There has been no official word from the Fiji authorities about the imminent deportation of the USP VC and his wife. But it continues a saga that began early 2019 when Professor Ahluwalia started work at USP’s Fiji campus, succeeding Fijian Rajesh Chandra as VC.
He raised allegations of financial abuse and university mismanagement in a report to the university’s highest body, the USP Council. Fiji Government reps in the Council by its AG have been seeking to dismiss him ever since.
Pal and his wife were picked up from their home as Fiji’s Prime Minister participated in a Pacific Islands Forum leaders retreat that went well into the early hours of this morning and saw the election of former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna to the role of PIF Secretary General ahead of four other candidates, including Fiji’s Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.
Fiji will Chair the PIF later this year, but maintaining regional unity, after the deportation of the Vice Chancellor, particularly after the candidate endorsed by Micronesian Forum members missed out on the SG’s role, will be even more difficult now. Nauru’s President chairs the USP Council.