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Staff calls for expulsion of student body president

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FIJI - USP - FBC/PACNEWS PACNEWS 2: Mon 21 Aug 2000 12.25

21 AUGUST 2000 SUVA (Pacnews) - Trouble is brewing at the Suva campus of the
University of the South Pacific after its Students Association President
allegedly assaulted an Indo-Fijian student last Friday.
The Association of the USP Staff is now calling for the immediate expulsion
of USPSA President, Veresi Bainivualiku.
According to a letter addressed to the University Vice Chancellor, Esekia
Solofa, the USP Staff President Biman Prasad said the assault outside the
university library was witnessed by Solofa and registrar, Sarojni Pillai.
"The fact that you witnessed the incident should compel to take immediate
action and expel him (Bainivualiku) from USP and call the police to
investigate the assault on the students and threats to USP Indo-Fijian
staff," Biman wrote in his letter.
The USP economist alleged the Student Association President also threatened
to attack Indo-Fijian staff members and "has been threatening Indo-Fijian
students at USP."
Biman implied the university administration was partly to be blamed for what
Bainivualiku had done. "In our view, it is the failure on the part of the
administration not to investigate the breaches of confidentiality by the
USPSA President in relation to the appointment of the Vice Chancellor (VC),"
Biman wrote.
"It is the casual attitude by the administration that has given the
President of the USPSA the inflated ego to do whatever he thinks is right
and in the process continue to flout the rules of the University," Biman
The Staff Association was referring to protests instigated by Bainivualiku
and his Students Association over the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor,
which forced the USP Council to call for fresh interviews of the five short
listed to replace Solofa -a Samoan - when his contract expires at the end of
the year.
Bainivualiku had argued the selection process was biased towards USP
academic Dr Rajesh Chandra - a candidate supported by the USP Staff
The USPSA, especially indigenous Fijian student members like Bainivualiku
had instead rallied behind former Fijian Reserve Bank governor, now ESCAP
regional director based in Port Vila, Savenaca Siwatibau.
A joint committee of the USP Senate and Council has been formed to finalise
a replacement for Solofa and the Council is expected to make a decision in
its next meeting in October...PNS (ENDS)


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