By EDDIE OSIFELO
EMBATTLED Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Vice Chancellor, Dr Ganesh Chand and four other expatriates are expected to return home next month.
This was after Minister of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Clezy Rore upheld the decision of Commissioner of Labour Josiah Manehia to reject the work permit of VC Chand and four other expats.
His decision was relayed in a letter sent to SINU Council this week.
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.”
The decision by Minister Rore was welcomed by some people who commented on social media, thanking him for upholding the law of this country.
Chand is is a Fijian academic and former politician of Indian descent.
He is a founder of the University of Fiji and serves as a trustee of the Fiji Institute of Applied Studies and as editor of Fijian Studies: A Journal of Contemporary Fiji.
He was a member of the Fiji Labour Party (FLP) in the parliamentary elections of 1999 and 2001. He was also Minister for National Planning, Local Government, Housing and Environment in 1999-2000.
Chand is the second Vice-Chancellor for SINU after Dr. Glynn Galo (first VC) resigned on November 2016.
Since then, SINU’s top job was filled on acting basis by Professor Basil Marasinghe who then, was the Pro-Vice Chancellor Academic and recently by Professor Prem Rai who is currently the Dean of School of Natural Resources and Applied Sciences.