The deferred MSG summit that was to have been held in Port Vila this week was going to revisit the appointment of Fiji's Amena Yauvoli as the new Director General of the MSG secretariat. Mr Yauvoli's selection was announced last month by Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and this was later confirmed by the MSG Chairperson, Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Mr.Manasseh Sogavare.
Todate, “PNG has joined Vanuatu in criticizing the nomination of Yauvoli”. It is clear that some MSG governments disagree with the announcement by Fiji’s Foreign Minister.
Also alarming is the revelation in the Business Melanesia of the precarious financial situation of the MSG with debts amounting to US$1.2m or FJD$2.9m including the Work Plan that has been impacted by the dire financial situation.
SODELPA is questioning the role of the Fiji Government in this dire financial situation and the implications on the taxpayers of this nation.
SODELPA further says that in the wider interest of Melanesian Group solidarity, Fiji should withdraw its candidature Amena Yauvoli and allow the MSG to review the process of its recruitment.
Since majority of members of MSG are "least developed" except Fiji and Papua New Guinea, the least developed members should be given first opportunity to serve in the topmost position in the MSG Secretariat, bearing in mind that Fiji is currently host to a majority of regional and international institutions/ headquarters in Suva and already plays an active role in international relations and peacekeeping.
The Party is not questioning the professional expertise and experience of Amena Yauvoli, a former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Fiji Diplomat but is concerned with what appears to be a lack of due process undertaken to recruit the topmost official of the MSG Secretariat.
“SODELPA wishes to assure the Indigenous Leaders of Melanesia of its support in the struggle against Indonesia imperialism in West Papua,” says Party President, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.
The deferred MSG Summit that was to have been held in Port Villa this week was expected to deal with a push by Vanuatu to remove Indonesia from the MSG after an admission from Jakarta that its police officers use torture.
With Fiji's growing bilateral ties with Indonesia, Fiji is seen by the majority of Members of the MSG, who support indigenous rights in West Papua, as a puppet and mouthpiece of Indonesia.
Recent media reports have informed the Fiji public that the Indonesia Government will take a major role in the restoration of Queen Victoria School following the extensive damages brought about by TC Winston.
Ratu Naiqama said, “Whilst we welcome their valuable assistance in re-building Queen Victoria School, the school which has produced distinguished Leaders of this nation, this should not be a reason for Government’s acquiesce on Indonesia’s continuing abuse of human rights on West Papua”.
Ratu Naiqama said, “Our Melanesian brothers and sisters can count on a future SODELPA Government to support indigenous rights and movements in Melanesia and in the South Pacific”.
Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu