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No symposium: PM tells Ratu Naiqama

August 26, 2015 7:26 pm

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says there will be no symposium, gathering or meeting with SODELPA President Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

Bainimarama was responding to Ratu Naiqama’s statement yesterday, in which was seeking an audience to discuss, what he says are issues of discomfort challenging Indigenous Fijians like native lands, the Great Council of Chiefs and their resources such as mining and qoliqoli.

In a statement issued last night, Bainimarama says he is astonished that with SODELPA tearing itself apart, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, a suspended Member of Parliament would get so desperate to create a diversion by wanting to hold a symposium with him.

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Bainimarama says, instead of this cheap publicity stunt, Ratu Naiqama who is desperate to make himself relevant to the Fijian political landscape, would do well on his return from Australia to hold a symposium on the crisis within the opposition partly caused by the power struggle between him and the Opposition leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

He says even SODELPA’s supporters are perplexed by this internal conflict within the party, which is robbing Fiji of an effective opposition as SODELPA members scrap among themselves.

Bainimarama says there is an old political saying – that a party that cannot govern itself cannot govern the country.

The Prime Minister says the majority of the Fijian people — in particular our youth, want to live in a stable and economically prosperous country and people like Ratu Naiqama, with their old politics of fear and fear mongering, cannot provide this.

He adds, equally, their claim that the iTaukei and their land, religion, culture and identity are under threat is not true.

He made clear in his statement that the security of the state and the stability of the nation is his responsibility as the country’s elected leader, not Ratu Naiqama’s.

Bainimarama says people like Ratu Naiqama are out of their depth when they comment on law, order and stability – when in fact he is calling for the ‘release’ of people who have been charged and are before the courts. This he says shows that the SODELPA President does not even have the basic understanding that the Judiciary is independent of the Executive.

Bainimarama says people like Ratu Naiqama have always used the implicit threat of instability or taken advantage of it to make themselves relevant and gain political power.

He adds the current security operation led by the Police with the assistance of the RFMF is to protect our new democracy from certain forces who do not accept the will of the Fijian people as expressed in the elections.

Bainimarama says these forces must not be allowed to succeed in their attempts to challenge our democracy and enforce their own will on the nation.

He has warned that if any politician, businessman or any other person aiding and abetting anyone that wants to create instability is found, they will also face the full brunt of the law.

Bainimarama says he and his government will uphold the integrity of our democracy rather than give comfort to those who intend to thwart the will of the people create instability and damage the economy.

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