Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister Maelanga urged to withdraw so for Prime Minister Lilo

THE Joint Civil Society Group has called on the deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga to withdraw his support for Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.

The group was responding to comments Mr Maelanga made during a press conference on Sunday in Honiara.

Mr Maelanga said Mr Lilo’s recent controversial trip to Indonesia was approved by cabinet and that it will produce significant benefits for the country’s economic sector.

But the group yesterday referred to a Radio New Zealand International reported that the Indonesian embassy in Canberra is still waiting for information on the reimbursement transaction recently announced by the PM but CBSI had already confirmed receiving US$171,000 from Indonesia.

“We view this latest statement from the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra as a form of denial by the Indonesian Government of having knowledge about the reimbursement,” group spokesman Barnabas Henson said.

“In effect, the physical transaction of the funds had preceded the knowledge of the very people who were supposed to be the source.

“This is a new ‘twist in the tale’ which again poses the same question ‘who is the real source of funds’.”

Mr Henson said this latest revelation from Canberra is extremely distressing to say the least.

“It partly counters our fears that the reimbursement is yet from another source.

“Both the PM and CBSI had failed to answer our call for a show of source documents to prove the source of the funds.

“It is also saddening to note that the deputy prime minister had allowed himself to be misled on the morals of diplomacy as alluded to in his press statement because this is what one would expect for lying to a nation.

“As we have seen, this issue has been festered by ‘half-truths, nothing but half-truths’.

“But then again there is no such thing as half-truth.  It’s either a truth or a lie.”

Mr Henson said Mr Maelanga has miserably failed in this regard because there is entirely nothing happening in his own province of Malaita.

“What the JCSG is saying here is there is nothing wrong with NACRA’s policies; in fact they are very good policies; but the process of translating those policies into action raises serious doubts and concerns.

“In other words, our DPM has failed to deliver on his own policies so quit talking about performance – act now and do the right thing by your people.

“Be a champion; fix Malaita and fix Solomon Islands.     

“This is why we are demanding good and honest leadership from our leaders. This is why we are calling on the peoples’ conscience to support immediate change in our political leadership.

“This is why we have infuriated political cronies and cohorts by being responsible.

“This is why we are making the call on the good DPM and other likeminded MPs to withdraw support for PM Lilo while your integrity is still intact because we will leave no stones unturned.

“This man has misled you for his own selfish gains. You need to step back and take a long hard look at the bigger picture – it is bad, believe you me.

“Have you consulted with your constituents yet? Please do so now and give them the opportunity to share with you their concerns.

“You will be remembered for a very long time for taking courage in doing the right thing - standing up for justice for your people.

“It’s still not too late to turn this ship back on course and it all depends on you.

“Get out of the engine room – there’s already too many of you down there including the captain - get up on the bridge, take a breath of fresh air and see where we’re heading.”

“Martin Luther King Jnr once said, ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy’.

“Where do you stand? Please do not ignore this.”

Solomon Star
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