back to news archives for 18-31 August, 2000
USP Journalism Programme

* See Nius items 2916, 2914, 2911

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By Matelita Ragogo and Joe Yaya
USP Journalism Students

SUVA: The Fijian Students Association has called for a protest march on
the University of the South Pacific's main Laucala campus next week.
The students are circulating a petition condemning the decision of the
university administration to bar the USP Students Association president,
Veresi Bainivualiku, from campus.
Bainivualiku was told by university officials on Monday that he was
banned from campus until he was due to appear before a disciplinary
committee. No date has yet been set for the hearing.
Bainivualiku has been at the centre of controversy since taking office
at the beginning of this year - including allegations over misuse of
funds, a campaign against the journalism students training newspaper
Wansolwara and a bid to close down the radio station, Radio Pasifik.
A complaint was lodged against him by the Association of USP Staff after
he allegedly breached confidentiality over a university select
committee's recommendation for the next Vice-Chancellor.
His case worsened when he allegedly attacked an Indo-Fijian student
leader in front of senior administration and academic staff and students
in the library foyer on Friday.
Several attempts to obtain comments from Bainivualiku have been
But the Fijian Students Association president Jone Fifita criticised the
stand taken by the university disciplinary committee in suspending
Bainivualiku from campus.
"When a group of Samoan and Tongan students had a punch-up just before
the coup, no one was barred from the university, " Fifita said.
"But when it came to Bainivualiku, he was barred straight-away."
During a FSA meeting yesterday, members heard that the association
* seek support from other regional student associations;
* seek legal advice on options available to them over their claims of
being unfairly treated.
* seek an audience with the Minister of Fijian Affairs, Ratu Epeli
Nailatikau, and the Minister for Education, Nelson Delailomaloma, to
discuss a reported submission to both ministries from the university
seeking the cancellation of Bainivualiku's scholarship.

Title -- 2917 FIJI: Protest march called over ban on student leader
Date -- 23 August 2000
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pasifik Nius
Source -- USP Journalism Programme, 23/8/00
Copyright -- USP Journalism
Status -- Unabridged


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