Ali: What is the real motive?

30 Sep, 2020

Media Release 30/09/20

A proud University of the South Pacific alumni and human rights activist has questioned the real motive behind the government’s decision to suspend Fiji’s education grant to USP.

Shamima Ali said the government should have consideration and compassion and think about the welfare and future of the students studying at the regional university.

Ms Ali said the government should not allow the vindictiveness of one man to spoil the proud history of a university that has produced some of the regions greatest leaders.

“Most of the Pacific’s intelligentsia have also been produced by USP and it needs to be protected and safeguarded from political interference,” she said.

“The Government seems to be using Fijian students and staff to hold the USP Council to ransom and dictate what it wants to be done and who to be appointed to top positions.”

Ms Ali questioned why government is using such strong and unfair tactics to not only jeopardise the education of our people, but to jeopardise our relations with our Pacific neighbors.

“Is it in the interest of good governance and transparency? Is this in the interest of the ‘vuvale concept’ introduced by the Prime Minister and used throughout the Pacific now?

“From the outset, it has always been clear that the Fijian government’s meddling into the affairs of the university was to serve own personal interests, particularly of a few.

“This is not the first time government has done this. It moves to serve its own needs and not for the greater good of society.”

Ms Ali said this was a very common trait of dictatorship.

“If the entire USP Council is satisfied with governance issues at the university under Prof Pal Ahluwalia and believes there is no mismanagement, what else does this government want?

She said this childish behavior by a couple of Fiji’s leaders threatens the long-term stability of the university and its position to financially plan for the future.

Ms Ali urged the Fijian government to immediately release the grant to USP and leave matters concerning the university to the USP Council, saying it had capable people to deal with any issues brought to its attention.


For more information, please call Shamima Ali on 9992 875

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