Malaita Ma’asina Forum Head Bashes Solomons PM Lilo

admin's picture

Malaita Ma’asina Forum Head Bashes Solomons PM Lilo Lilo accused of ‘personal rampage’ against critics

By Ednal Palmer

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 3, 2013) – I will see to it and ensure your whole body is dirty, said Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) president Charles Dausabea, lashing out at Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.

In a press conference yesterday, Dausabea said the Prime Minister’s "desperate" response to our questions last week has belittled the office he holds and himself.

"Instead of responding to the issues of concern and questions, he went on a personal rampage and labeled some of us as those with stain on our hands.

"He stooped so low by making personal attacks on private citizens who have the right to question their leader," Mr. Dausabea said.

Prime Minister Lilo during a press conference last week said some leaders of the joint civil society group who were accusing him over the Indonesia trip have dirt on their hands.

But the MMF president said Mr. Lilo was not honest about his trip to Indonesia.

"If the PM was honest, he should admit and apologise because the nation pay for the trip. It couldn’t have dragged this far because everyone will accept it.

"However, when we questioned him about his trip, he and his press secretary answered from Indonesia saying the trip was fully funded by Indonesia, but when we investigate, we found that more than SB$1 million [US$136,000] of tax payers’ money were used on airfares, food and accommodation and per diems.

[PIR editor's note: Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has slammed comments from the joint civil society group that previously criticized Lilo. The group is also planning to petition Lilo to resign from his position as PM. Elsewhere, the Solomons government claims Jakarta has refunded the costs of the trip.]

"He insisted the trip was funded by Indonesia while evidence with documents showed otherwise."

Mr. Dausabea said until last week, the leader belittled himself when he attacked citizens personally.

"We questioned the Office of the Prime Minister as a holder of the office.

"He said we have dirt on our hands. We accept that because we do not pretend and or refuse to admit or hide our wrongs.

"We face the law, but that is not the issue, the issue is his lies.

"He picked on us and said our hands were stained, what about you? We do not use the system or any arms of the law to protect us. We take our problems head on.

Mr. Dausabea then accused the Prime Minister for using the courts to avoid the tsunami report from debate in Parliament.

"If he is a saint as he claimed to be, and point a finger at us, I want to ask him why he used the courts to stop the tsunami report from being debated in parliament.

"Is it because the report will implicate you? It was a report from the Auditor General which should be scrutinized in parliament, yet you see it fit to take it to court to block it so that people cannot see your involvement.

"What about the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation) report, why not take it to parliament, is it because it will reveal the identity of those who bring in the now defunct Black Shark group which victimized many Malaitans?

"Why not release the 2006 April riot report? Is it because it will also reveal who pay for food for the protesters?

"If you are that clean, release these three reports so that the nation can see. Millions of dollars of tax payers’ money were spent on inquiries which produced the reports.

"But since you labeled us as people with dirty hands, I would want to tell the PM, I will see to it and ensure you have dirt over your full body.

"I will work on it to see that this happens. I am now working on some legal matters to ensure this happens."

Mr. Dausabea said Mr. Lilo was very good at diverting attention, but that it will never work.

"You differed from the issue. The issue was that you lied to the nation and never want to admit.

"Just last week, a political appointee was sacked by the PM in concurrence with backbencher Steve Abana.

"They fired that innocent person because they claim that person release records which appeared in the Solomon Star.

"I’d like to tell them, you fired an innocent person. His children and family will be affected. He was not responsible for the release of any reports. Sorry!

"So what did this sacking means? It means you are guilty and you fired a wrong person."

The Solomon Star also confirmed that a political appointee was fired.

The MMF president said they will ensure no stone is left unturned.

Meanwhile MMF general secretary Charles Ashley said anyone that aspires to be a public figure must know that they allowed themselves to be questioned by the masses.

"No one force anyone to take up the PM’s post, you want it, accept it when citizens ask about issues.

"It’s like a soldier. If you signed up for as a soldier and get shot, you don’t give excuses that you were not ready. That is the attitude of our current leadership.

"You should not tell people their hands are stained, we are private citizens, how we deal with our issues is private, but you are a national leader.

"As a national leader, if serous issues are raised, answer them and do not side track issues and attack people personally."

MMF communications officer Henry Daukalia said the PM displayed a childish attitude.

"His personal response was not something any leader should take. He dodged the real question and did personal character assassination.

"We are citizens and we have the right to ask questions and he should tell the truth through his responses.

"I appeal to people from other provinces and everyone to speak up, raise questions. Let’s join forces, because we do not want to be seen as one ethnic group although we represent Malaitans, these are issues of national interests that everyone should rise up and speak their minds on."

The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond when asked to comment on Monday.

Rate this article: 
Average: 3.1 (7 votes)

Add new comment