Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Manasseh Sogavare says Fiji Prime Minister (PM) should apologise to the member countries of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for admitting Indonesia as an associate member.
“There was no consensus in the admission of Indonesia by member countries.”
He said Fiji PM solely made the decision to admit Indonesia into MSG and forced the member countries to endorse it.
But DPM revealed that when it comes to the application for membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) into MSG, Fiji PM talks about the strict criteria to be followed to become a member.
“Which continue to be a difficulty for ULMWP to become a full member of MSG,” said the DPM.
Sogavare said the application by ULMWP is consistent with that of the Socialist National Liberation Front (FLINKS) of New Caledonia when they apply for membership.
DPM was speaking during the question and answer session in Parliament when Member of Parliament (MP) for Aoke/Langalanga Matthew Wale asked PM Rick Hou to answer the questions related to his apology MSG member countries for the sour relationship over the past years.
He said, MSG is a purely political body to free Melanesia from colonisation but this is not the case today as their interests have been shifted from its fundamental purpose that establish the organisation.
Mr Sogavare said, if MSG stands on the very purpose and the founding principles upheld by the MSG leaders who started the organisation there should not be any difficulty in admitting ULMWP full membership.
He said ULMWP is a political entity representing the indigenous people of West Papua who a Melanesians, so there is no problem to admit them full membership in MSG.
Arguing that MSG has been shift from its original purpose to protects the rights and freedom of Melanesia from colonialism.
“Close association of Fiji with Indonesia is sabotaging the work of MSG and their membership in MSG is not political but economic interest.”
He concluded that Fiji and Papua New Guinea strongly allied with Indonesia therefore their relationship continues to sabotage the work of MSG to uphold its purpose.
By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI, Solomon Star News