SAMOA LEADER CAUTIONS MELANESIA ON FIJI REGIME

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Tuilaepa supports Bainimarama goals, not his rule

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 1, 2011) – Samoa’s Prime Minister has issued a statement showing his government’s support for the Solomon Islands prime minister’s stance to continue dialogue with the military regime in Fiji.

The Solomons call was made by its foreign minister, Peter Shanel, during this week’s Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Suva.

Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi says he also agrees with the Fiji interim prime minister’s call for strong and progressive leadership in the region.

The prime minister says efforts to that end have been made by Pacific Islands Forum leaders all these years.

However, Tuilaepa says these ideals of strong and progressive leadership are canvassed on the basis of a democratically elected and representative government.

He says that is the sobering message that has been relayed to Commodore Frank Bainimarama for the last five years since he forcibly took over government, abrogated the constitution, disbanded Parliament and the judiciary and negated the rule of law.

[PIR editor’s note: The Fiji Sun reports Bainimarama’s reaction to Tuilaepa’s comments, saying, "His comments, in no way change anything for Fiji and her people."]

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