Monday, January 19, 2009

'I cannot come.'

from w
Not unexpected, but Fiji's Interim PM says he will not go to the meeting in PNG.
It's a sad world, eh?
Fiji PM will not attend PNG forum

Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will not attend the Pacific Islands Forum Special Meeting in Papua New Guinea next week.

In a statement today, State media reports that Bainimarama “has decided to place the interest of the nation and those affected by the floods at the forefront”.

Instead, Bainimarama has written to Hon Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue and Chairman of PIF, seeking a deferment of the Port Moresby meeting on January 27 because he still wants to meet the Forum leaders.Fiji is facing possible expulsion from the Forum for not holding promised democratic elections in March this year. “I cannot be out of the country at this critical time when the nationwide flooding which Fiji experienced just a week ago has claimed loss of lives of 10 people and caused massive destruction to personal property, crops, businesses, industries and the nation’s infrastructure and related installations," Bainimarama said in his letter, according to State media. “As Head of Government, my priority is to ensure that the affected people are properly looked after, the necessary assessments are undertaken of the damages caused and for me to oversee the availability of required resources for the much required reconstruction and rehabilitation works to bring back normalcy to lives of our people and for economic recovery.

“I, however, would like to be personally at the Special Meeting which the Leaders have sanctioned and it is for this reason that I have asked for a deferment.”

The statement said Bainimarama has also written to Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare about his inability to travel to Port Moresby given the Government of Papua New Guinea is the host for the PIF Special Meeting. Bainimarama is currently on a tour of the flood affected areas in the Northern Division and will return to Suva later in the week.

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