25 Aug 2011

Samoa prime minister raises concerns at Fiji regime interference at USP

8:17 pm on 25 August 2011

The prime minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielelagaoi, says it's extremely disturbing that the Fiji regime's interfering with academic independence at the University of the South Pacific.

He was commenting after reports outspoken USP economist, professor Wadan Narsey, had been forced to resign from the institution.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Dr Narsey, who's on sabbatical in Japan, has been one of the few at the USP willing to make critical assessments of the actions of the Bainimarama government. He says he reached a mutual agreement with the university whose financial future was endangered because the military regime was extremely unhappy with his speaking out. Tuilaepa says when there's academic interference you start to question the standard of education and the teaching environment. He says it's especially important because the USP is collectively-owned by Pacific Islands Forum countries and not just Fiji. The Samoa leader says the irony is that the pressure is coming from an uneducated military dictator who has never studied at a university."