By EDDIE OSIFELO
WORK on screening and finalising the work permit of embattled Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Vice Chancellor, Dr Ganesh Chand is going through the process now.
Commissioner of Labour, Josiah Manehia confirmed this to Island Sun yesterday.
Manehia said the outcome should be known soon.
When asked about the illegal work Mr Chand did with SINU since last year, Manehia said necessary explanations will be tendered later.
Riley Henao Mesepitu of Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, earlier said the applications of the VC and other expatriate at SINU must meet the criteria before the Commissioner of Labour can grant the approval for their work permits.
As such, PS Mesepitu said the VC and the other staff should not work because they entered the country under the permit to enter and reside and not to work.
“SINU is not a regional university, but our university under our laws.
“As such every company has to go through the same process, which SINU is not exceptional,” he said.
A leaked letter on social media shows the Labour Division sent a letter to Chairman of Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Council, Dr Culwick Togamana on August 7, 2020 regarding the employment of expatriates at SINU.
The letter stated that “A check through our office records and our files do not show that the expatriate staff, including the Vice Chancellor, have work permits for their employment by the Solomon Islands National University.
“A check with the Office of the Director of Immigration has also confirmed that no Gazette has been formalised to exempt the concerned staff from the requirements for work permit,” a officer in Labour Division said.
As such the letter stated this may mean that their employment by the University is illegal.
Island Sun understands the VC and other expatriate are currently staying at home without attending to any work at SINU until their work permits are granted.