He says this mo­tion was null and void since coun­cil voted to re­in­state Pal Ah­luwalia


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

Speak­ing to the Fiji Sun yes­ter­day, Mr Win­ston 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.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific Pro Chan­cel­lor and Coun­cil Chair, Win­ston Thomp­son af­ter the ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers meet­ing.

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