The PM of Vanuatu, Bob Loughman, together with the political leadership and the people of Vanuatu can hold their heads high for declaring the USP Emalus Campus on Vanuatu was ready and willing to host USP VC Pal Ahluwalia “ after his forceful removal from Fiji earlier this month” (‘Host option: Vanuatu willing to take in Ahluwalia ‘, The Fiji Times 21 February) with the requisite country work permit. I would also like to include an acknowledgement to former Vanuatu foreign affairs minister and current Leader of Opposition Ralph Regenvanu for his very principled stance on the deportation of Professor Ahluwalia ( ‘Opposition : Actions of Fijian Government unacceptable’ Vanuatu Daily Post 16 February).
At a time when the whole university community of 12 member countries is facing an enormous crisis with the arbitrary removal and undignified deportation of the VC from Fiji By The Fijian Government of Two -Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum (any independent observer of Fiji politics can confirm that) Vanuatu has lifted its hand to offer a concrete way forward. In so doing it has also shown true commitment to “the Pacific Way”. Something that the mob in power in Fiji abandoned in their vindictive persecution of Professor Pal, much to the shame of the Fijian people.
Vanuatu has provided leadership at this time of need for our region’s premier institution of higher learning.
It’s our fervent hope that others will take their cue from the Vanuatu example to maintain the integrity of the USP.