23 Mar 2018

Opposition denounces Fiji First govt's support for Indonesia

12:42 pm on 23 March 2018

Fiji's Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party said it is deeply disturbed about allegations that the Fiji First Government acted forcibly to have Indonesia admitted as an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama listens to a speech at the plenary session of the Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders summit in Noumea in 2013.

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama listens to a speech at the plenary session of the Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders summit in Noumea in 2013. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

In a statement today, the shadow minister of foreign affairs and defence Mosese Bulitavu has urged other Melanesian countries to stay true to the decolonisation vision of the MSG.

Mr Bulitavu said Fiji First leaders have already tampered with indigenous rights in Fiji and are now venturing on a path to compromise the rights of the people of Melanesian origin to help the interests of non- Melanesian nations.

Mosese Bulitavu's comments come in the wake of a war of words between Fiji and Solomon Islands over Indonesia's associate member status in the MSG.

An opposition MP in Solomon Islands Matthew Wale has called for Indonesia to either be kicked out of the sub-regional group or for the MSG to be dismantled altogether.

He said Indonesia is not Melanesian and in fact is the oppressor of Melanesian peoples under its jurisdictions in West Papua.

Mosese Bulitavu said his party leader Major General Sitiveni Rabuka was one of the founding leaders of the MSG and SODELPA is committed to the founding ideals and principles of the regional organization.

Mr Bulitavu called for the reconsideration of the admission of Indonesia as an associate member of the MSG and for further discussion on the admission of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

He said Fiji First has no right to hold Melanesia and its future to ransom.

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