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1973 USP Students- in a class of their own (20 Jul 2016)


1973 USP Students: in a class of their own.

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When I started teaching mathematics at The University of the South Pacific, I came into contact with and made friends with all the senior students. Their students association was dynamic and the student writings of a quality not seen these days.  Here is one on the expiry of cane farmers’ leases at Koronubu Ba, written by me with the field work done with the late Jayant Prakash (former High Court judge) and Vimal Madhavan (later Fiji Times Sub-editor). That article can be read here:

Click to access canefarmers-and-expiring-alta-leases-in-koronubu-ba-fijis-unrewarded-peasants-unispac-1974.pdf

Read the editorial on the third page of this UNISPAC, written by Vimal and Bhan, calling on USP students to be not racist in their approach to student politics.  That class of USP students included some who were dynamic contributors to UNISPAC, like Jone Dakuvula, Claire Slatter, Bharat Jamnadas and Vanessa Griffen.  Some other names can be read in the pictures enclosed above.

Read here also, a splendid article by Mesulame Lutumailagi, on the exploitation of the goldmine workers at Vatukoula.


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Then read the next article tackling the refusal of USP management to have a program of training and appointing regional staff, by none other than one Isikeli Mataitoga, who fifteen years later was a right hand man of Sitiveni Rabuka during and after the 1987 coup against the Bavadra/Reddy/Chaudhry Government (life is full or ironies). Mataitoga is also a luminary in the Bainimarama Government.

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Read another well-argued article written by the USPSA, protesting the racial discrimination in scholarships, by the Fiji Government.

I am sure that former USP students will recognize this former USP student and current USP academic.

There were then many bright USP students from all around the region, larger than life, going onto to greater (and some more unsavory) things in life, with quite a few older that us young lecturers, as many working professionals too advantage of an affordable  university on their door-step.


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