3 Nov 2004

Fiji government confirms rejection of acting vice chancellor as new USP leader

11:27 am on 3 November 2004

The Fiji government has confirmed that it did not support the longtime acting vice chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Rajesh Chandra, to be its next vice chancellor.

The eduction minister, Ro Teimumu Kepa has told Fiji TV that Fiji supported the best candidate.

She would not give any specific reason why Fiji would not support Professor Chandra when the American Dr Anthony Ashton Tarr was given the job.

Ro Teimumu admitted Fiji is the bigget contributor to the USP's running costs, paying over 80 per cent of its annual budget.

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says he has been informed that several regional governments supported Professor Chandra for the position when Fiji did not.

Mr Chaudhrey says this is discrimination against ethnic Indians and it is highly frustrating for professionals who are really needed in Fiji to be treated in this way.

The National Federation Party has expressed its concern saying that all appointments must be based on merit and qualifications, and not be prejudiced by racial or religous considerations.