It was understood that the government has refused granting SINU’s Vice Chancellor Dr. Ganesh Chand the work permit to allow him to work legally in the country.
A Government source familiar with the current issue told Solomon Star that the Labour Division within the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) has out rightly refused Chand the work permit.
The rejection of Ganesh Chand was communicated to the HR Department of SINU in an official letter dated 29/9/2020.
When this paper contacted the SINU HR Department for verification, they said information pertaining to the saga can only be released after consultation with their superiors.
However, according to a government insider, the rejection of Dr. Chand’s work permit application prompted the SINU Council to complain bitterly to the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC).
“It was understood the Commissioner of Labour and his minister were summoned to OPMC for an urgent briefing on the issue after the SINU Council conveyed its disappointment with Dr. Chand’s work permit rejection.
“The OPMC told the Minister of Commerce, Commissioner of Labour and the SINU Council Chairman Dr. Culwick Togamana to follow the legal process under the law,” the insider said.
However, this does not go down well with Dr. Togamana and Dr. Chand as they both desperately tried to convince OPMC, the source added.
“Dr. Culwick even went as far as telling the OPMC that the rejection of Dr Chand’s work permit application could potentially have wide diplomatic ramification with the Fijian government.”
The insider told this paper that the Prime Minister will always allow the law to take its course rather than politicising the SINU saga.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chand has been given 14 days to appeal the Commerce Minister’s decision.
By ANDREW FANASIA