Solomon Islands Former PM Critical Of Sogavare’s National Apology Efforts

Sikua: PM’s statement ‘loaded with hypocrisy, insincerity and double-standards’

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 11, 2016) –  The Leader of the Independent Group in Parliament Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua said in a statement yesterday that the Prime Minister’s National Apology on Tuesday 5th July, 2006 is farcical, a mockery and a deliberate attempt at covering up past illegal activities and wrongdoing by certain individuals.

Dr. Sikua also stated that the blame put by the PM on the British centralised governance system, land tenure and the carelessness of all the national and provincial governments since Independence as the main causes of the ethnic conflict is ludicrous and preposterous. 

“How can the PM blame governments that came into power after 2003 for what happened, and in any case, why is he blaming everyone and everything else when he himself knew exactly what happened prior to and during the June, 5th 2000 Coup.”

Furthermore, Dr. Sikua stated that the PM’s 38th Independence Anniversary address is loaded with hypocrisy, insincerity and double-standards. 

[PIR editor's note: On July 12, 2016 Solomon Star reported that 'Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has refuted insinuations by former Parliamentarian, Mr Nolen Leni and the Leader of the Independent Group, Hon Derek Sikua that he was involved in events leading up to the 5th June 2000 coup ... The Prime Minister said he is totally astounded why Mr Leni and the Leader of the Independent Group saw it fit to make defamatory implications against him regarding a chain of events he has no involvement in and knowledge about and then turn around and ask him to tell the truth about them to the nation.']

Dr. Sikua questioned who the PM is talking to and is trying to impress? 

On Wednesday 6 July, 2016 Issue (No.6323 page 6) of the Solomon Star Newspaper “Letters to the editor”, a prominent Guadalcanal Leader, former MP, and Paramount Chief of Kolokarako, in the highlands of Guadalcanal Mr. Nollen Leni posed three important questions.

“The Prime Minister must respond to these questions honestly and truthfully if he is serious about bringing about lasting peace in this Country.”

 For ease of reference by the PM and the general public, Sikua repeated Mr. Leni’s three questions as follows:

  1. Who was involved in the distribution of the guns and ammunition to the youths at Black Post?
  2. Why was the Late Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa’alu held under House arrest?
  3. Why wasn’t the then opposition government (of which PM Sogavare is the Leader) officially table a Vote of No Confidence on the floor of Parliament to unseat Prime Minister Ulufa’alu instead of resorting to violence?

Following on from the above, the Prime Minister should be further asked to respond honestly and truthfully to the following related questions on the 5 June, 2000 Coup:

  1. .Who planned and was involved in the forced opening/break-in of the Rove Police Armoury in the early hours of 5 June, 2000? 
  2. As the then Leader of the Opposition Group in Parliament, what is your role, if any, in the planning of the 5 June, 2000 coup?
  3. If not, did you have any prior knowledge of the coup happening on 5 June, 2000?
  4. If not, why would you tell X not to send your children to school the night before?
  5. What did you say to the current MP for North West Guadalcanal and the Late John Garo when you and Hon Danny Philip confronted them in the Opposition Group’s Office at Vavaya Ridge following their kidnapping before the Coup?

“I urged PM Sogavare to honestly and frankly answer all of the above questions.  Otherwise, he should then understand why some leaders and their people are still finding it difficult to take part in peace activities. 

“It is unwise and naïve on the part of the PM to view these leaders and people as a stumbling block to peace. 

“This is because ever since the coup in mid-2000, Solomon Islanders have been asking who are the “BIG FISH” and when are they going to own-up and admit their wrongdoing, confess and apologise to the nation. 

“Most leaders and people believe that the IFM, GRA and MEF members a mere pawns, puppets or small fish in the “BIG FISH’s” selfish and greedy political agenda.”

Mr. Leni stated in his letter to the Solomon Star newspaper Editor that “… the right person to tell the truth about how the ethnic crisis begun is the current Prime Minister.” So PM Sogavare, rise to the challenge and do the right thing!

“Otherwise, I put back to you as Prime Minister of this country the very same questions you asked our people in your 38th Independence Anniversary Address on Thursday 7th July, 2016 that:

  1.  Are you a positive agent of peace in the way you conduct yourself?
  2. Are you the leader that must now wake up from your hibernation and come to terms with the fact that the country is determined to move forward?
  3.  Are you therefore, the real stumbling block to peace and one who keeps holding back this country from moving forward?
  4.  Are you one of those leaders who allowed this country to slip back to anarchy?
  5. How genuinely serious are you as a Christian to bring about lasting peace in this country?

Mr Sikua said “after listening to the PM’s Independence Anniversary Address last Thursday, a number of people came and asked me: “Who is the PM talking to?” I do not have an answer for them but I think what they are trying to say is that, we as leaders, must stop lying to our people and refrain from being selfish, arrogant, and two-faced, and to stop being hypocrites.” 

Meanwhile, in the social media, unanimously, commentators have called for a separate investigation apart from the TRC report, to find out the rationale behind the ethnic tension, and foremost to identify the initiators of the ethnic crises, which many believed to be a politically driven undertaking.

Solomon Star
Copyright © 2016 Solomon Star. All Rights Reserved

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