Why is Kalouniwai speaking out and not Naupoto? Has he been dumped? Or is RFMF's Chief of Staff vying for the Commander's post?
RFMF concerned with Rabuka’s close involvement with Fiji ex‑Peacekeepers And Action Trustee Association
The RFMF is concerned with SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka’s close involvement with the Fiji ex‑Peacekeepers And Action Trustee Association and the military will also closely monitor the Association’s call for ex-peacekeepers to gather at the Suva court house this Thursday.
RFMF’s Chief of Staff Colonel Jone Kalouniwai says they are aware of a meeting held between Rabuka and the Association’s seven Executive members at Hotel 2000 in Lautoka yesterday.
Colonel Kalouniwai says the RFMF is aware of the fresh application of grievances the Association will be lodging this Thursday for mention in the Suva High Court in anticipation of the strike‑out application filed by the defendants, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance and the Attorney General against the Association.
Colonel Kalouniwai says these grievances which include a $250 million compensation for participation in UN Peacekeeping Missions from 1978 to 2002 with an upfront installment of $150 million is the perfect opportunity for Rabuka to piggyback on and use as a bandwagon of grievances to sway and manipulate the former Peacekeepers Association for his political gains.
The RFMF Chief of Staff says the involvement of the SODELPA Leader now is a mockery for all RFMF peacekeepers because of his non‑action to increase the RFMF Peacekeepers Middle East location allowances during his capacity as Commander RFMF and Prime Minister of the country from 1987 to 1999.
Colonel Kalouniwai says during those periods, all peacekeepers were receiving a meager $15 a day as location allowances for a whole year in Lebanon.
The current location allowances have gradually increased over the years since then to $130 a day for all RFMF Peacekeepers.
The RFMF is warning the Association to be very cautious and must attempt to fully comprehend the real intentions and ulterior motives of Rabuka’s involvement and his genuine assurances within their Association.
Colonel Kalouniwai says there should be no encouraging of ex-peacekeepers to go in numbers to the courthouse on Thursday.
When questioned by Fijivillage on whether he supports the Association calling ex-peacekeepers to go in numbers to the courthouse, Sitiveni Rabuka said that it would be a waste of money if they do that.
Rabuka also confirms that he is not supporting the compensation payment case as the peacekeepers were paid by the Fijian government, and the peacekeeping deal was between the Fijian government and the United Nations, not between individual soldiers and the UN.
The RFMF will be closely monitoring the situation and strongly urges the Association to reconsider their intentions in encouraging all its members around Viti Levu to attend the mentioning of the Association’s fresh application of grievances lodged against the defendants before the Suva High Court this Thursday.