Fiji’s Bainimamara hails MSG summit as new beginning
Posted at 01:45 on 16 March, 2011 UTC
The interim Fiji leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says the participation of three new countries in this month’s Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Fiji signals a new beginning for the sub-regional body.
Commodore Bainimarama, who is the chair of the MSG, has welcomed the involvement of East Timor, Indonesia and Luxembourg in the meeting.
Fiji was due to host the summit last July but the then chair Vanuatu’s prime minister, Edward Natapei, cancelled the meeting, raising concerns about an unelected leader assuming the chair of the organisation.
Mr Natapei said that this would have threatened the fundamental democratic principles of the MSG.
When Mr Natapei was voted out of office late last year the path was cleared for Commodore Bainimarama to become chair.
The Fiji Sun reports that Indonesia and East Timor will be participating as observers this year while a representative from Luxembourg will attend as a special guest.
The meetings officially start next Wednesday when trade officials hold talks, with the leaders’ summit scheduled for March the 31st at the Vale ni Bose complex in Suva.
March 17, 2011
Bainimarama stuffs up Melanesian Alliance
This is probably the reason why the now deposed Prime Minister of Vanuatu resisted Fiji's muscling in of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Chairmanship in the first place.
Not discounting the fact that the illegal and treasonous Bainimarama is utterly clueless in how politics (and regional Melanesian politics in particular) works, by inviting Indonesia to attend the meeting after being won over by their soft diplomacy, he has incurred the wrath of West Papuans.
The presence of Luxembourg at this grand Melanesian economic shindig should prove interesting also.
Bainimarama's recent antics may therefore derail any attempts at economic unification such as that proposed by the Solomon Islands.
Whatever happens, the Melanesians should heed the benefit of their experience when dealing with Bainimarama.
If he cannot prove his loyalty to the people of Fiji by trashing the laws of this country, there is no guarantee that he will prove his loyalty to the MSG either -- because five years down the line, the people of Fiji know that it is almost always about him.