#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Samoan PM tells Bainimarama to stick to planting cassava

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Samoan PM tells Bainimarama to stick to planting cassava

Fiji and Samoa's leaders are going head to head again, this time over the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and which country has a claim to it.

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi fired the first salvo two weeks ago, when he said Fiji’s military government had come up with the Immunity Decree to avoid prosecution and was surely an admission of guilt.

Tuilaepa also mocked Voreqe Bainimarama, saying he was a little dictator and he "wouldn't be surprised if his next decree is to change the Fiji national anthem."

His comments were widely supported but scoffed at by the junta leader, who this week retorted with the claim that Tuilaepa had lost his mind, and that the Samoan PM was "desperate and trying to whip up a regional outcry, so that the Pacific Forum secretariat could be moved from Suva to Apia."

Bainimarama told the Fiji Broadcasting Corproation that he didn't think anyone from the Forum Secretariat would want to relocate to Samoa, because Fiji was the more modern country out of the two.

But Tuilaepa has now suggested Fiji's self-appointed leader "keeps quiet" and learn from the valuable lessons he is imparting “free of charge”.

In a second interview with Tupuola Terry Tavita printed today on Pacific Scoop, Tuilaepa says: "You know, calling the Commodore a Prime Minister is like calling a skinny dog a vicious lion, a scrawny chicken a soaring eagle.”

He was equally scathing of Bainimarama's comments about the Forum Secretariat, saying: “Best he sticks to planting cassava and leave Forum issues to bonafide elected leaders. He has neither say nor business with neither the Forum nor its secretariat.”

Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum last year, three years after Bainimarama ousted the elected government of Laisenia Qarase.

In reply to Bainimarama's claim he was angling to secure the Forum Secretariat for Samoa, Tuilaepa says such a decision is not his to make but that of the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum.

“Whether it gets relocated to Samoa, Papua (New Guinea), Tonga, Vanuatu or even Bikini Atoll is neither Bani’s nor those working at the Secretariat’s decision to make. And if it (Secretariat) does relocate, well Bani only has himself to blame for it. He is the root cause of all these problems.”

But Tuilaepa says it's highly unlikely the Secretariat would want to operate “under the thumb” of an unelected military regime. “Especially a regime that has done away with the rule of law, democratic government, an independent judiciary and suppression of the media and freedom of speech. It’s against the exact fundamental principles the Forum was founded on.”

Tuilaepa says he doesn't know how Bainimarama came to make the suggestion. He said: "It appears that he is scared that it’ll be relocated to Samoa? Well, thank you very much Mr Bainimarama for your vote of confidence in us. But, frankly, we don’t need your endorsement.”-Sources Tupuola Terry Tavita's story on Pacific Scoop and the FBC story on Bainimarama.


Anonymous said...

atleast people outside have not changed their stance , but same can't be said of native Fijians, like today native of GAU appologised baini and pledged support , may be just because of few dollars. Last time people of Ovalau as they said this is the first time any PM has visited , they should be told this is also the first time a native illegal PM has made mockery of Fijian race as well.

Anonymous said...

Suggest the Samoans know a bully when they see one.

Fiji Fan said...

Fiji and Samoa are arguably the biggest and 'developed' countries in the Pacific, so no wonder they are scrapping over the spoils of war, eh?

Fiji was the New York of the Pacific, but sadly that reputation has been tainted by the coups, particularly the current leadership, the most damaging of all illegal regimes.

I was in Samoa a few years ago for the South Pacific Games and saw then the efforts the government went to, to elevate the country as a hub for the Pacific. With the facilities it built for the competitors and the sense of order its people commit themselves to, it showed the region it could be a host nation to a variety of organisations and interests.

So why not the Secretariat? Samoa has many good things going for it, despite the destruction caused by last year's quake and tsunami so PM Malielegaoi can push his chest out and strut a 'little.

Baini's claim Samoa is angling to win over the South Pacific Secretariat has legs - and he's right to fear Samoa (other islands as well, probably) are looking to grab what was once its sole preserves.

Suva is no longer the credible capital it once was, but Bainimarama has himself to blame.

Anonymous said...

Bravo to the Samoan PM. I like his forthrightness for calling a spade a spade, a crook a crook and a tiny dictator just that.

Anonymous said...

Fiji is going down the toilet, slowly but surely - we cannot hope to maintain our services industries without significant foreign investment - and investors are rightly very shy about investing in the Pacific's version of Zimbabwe.

Anonymous said...

And Adam said...No my Lord, only the woman you gave me...but the woman said...only the serpent...and so it went on and on and is still going on to this day...

Guilt is revealed when you demand others take responsibilty for your wrongdoings...Madness is apparent when you turn your wrongdoings into a "martyr's" virtuous armour!!!

In any case,the cosmos has its own system of alignment. Julius Caesar arrogantly decreed himself the ruler and controller of that and see what happened!

And he was warned...Why didnt he take heed? J/C didnt have the luxury of time to appreciate the value of humility hence his brutual and violent downfall. So hopefully, JVB will quit mocking other's advice, but take heed, humble himself and do the right thing by the people. That is the only way he can shed the scrawny chicken tag and soar like an eagle!!! FREE FIJI...