The Speaker of Fiji's parliament has rejected calls from the opposition to debate the deportation of the University of the South Pacific's vice-chancellor, professor Pal Ahluwalia.
Ratu Epeli Nailatikau ruled that an Oral Question from NFP leader Biman Prasad and an Adjournment Motion from Sodelpa leader Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu were not of urgent natures.
The deportation of the regional body's vice-chancellor has led to widespread regional criticism of Fiji's government and urgent calls for action.
However, speaker Ratu Epeli said Mr Prasad's question did not relate to a matter of public importance and did not qualify as urgent.
Further, the Adjournment Motion was disallowed under standing orders.
"I have considered the nature of the Adjournment Motion and ruled that the matters raised in the Adjournment Motion are not something that requires the immediate attention of parliament or the government," Ratu Epeli said.
USP Council looks at deportation issues
The USP Council released a statement saying they were not consulted over Professor Pal Ahluwalia's deportation.
The Council states that it has not dismissed Professor Ahluwalia and expressed disappointment that it was not advised, as his employer, of the decision by Fiji's government to deport him.
The Council has established a Sub-committee, chaired by the President of Nauru including the Council Representatives of Australia, Tonga, Niue, Solomon Islands, Samoa and two Senate Representatives to look into matters surrounding the controversial deportation.
The meeting today also discussed the possibility of a Vice-Chancellor being based in and operating out of another country apart from Fiji.
Dr Giulio Masasso Tu'ikolongahau Paunga has been appointed acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific following a full day USP Council meeting today.
The Council has also established a Sub-committee, chaired by the President of Nauru including the Council Representatives of Australia, Tonga, Niue, Solomon Islands, Samoa and two Senate Representatives to look into matters surrounding the controversial deportation.
The sub-committee is to bring recommendations on these matters to the Council as soon as possible.
Dame Meg 'disheartened'
The incoming secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, he won't be speaking on the removal of the vice-chancellor from Fiji until after a communique frm the regional grouping is released.
But the outgoing secretary-general, Dame Meg-Taylor, issued a statement.
"As the Permanent Chair of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific and a Member of the USP Council, I am disheartened by the ongoing and recent events at the University culminating in the deportation (last week) of Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia.
"I am confident that fellow Council members will continue to uphold good governance and follow due process to ensure the immediate restoration of strong leadership of the University," Dame Meg said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Forum, Tuvalu's prime minister, Kausea Natano, urged the university council to find a resolution to the situation.
"As is the Forum, USP is governed by its Royal Charter, Convention, statutes and ordinances and the USP Council must ensure that due process is followed.
"With this in mind, I encourage the USP Council to negotiate a way forward through this and other challenges to come."