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SODELPA Firm On Letter

SODELPA Firm On Letter
September 25
11:32 2015

SODELPA will not be influenced by a letter defending Ro Teimumu Kepa in an inquiry into a confidential report,  party insiders say.

Officials, initially jolted by the timing of the letter in the middle of the inquiry, have decided to maintain the integrity of the inquiry by putting it aside, it is understood.

None of them will comment because they don’t want to interfere with the inquiry.

There is a feeling among the party hierarchy that the letter is designed to force a compromise and settle the contentious issues.

While concerned with its impact on party unity and morale, officials won’t allow it prejudicing the process, it is understood. President Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu is not pleased because the letter questions his authority and that of the party, it is believed.

The author, Jese Sikivou, said in the letter that the “vanua of Rewa is deeply hurt and disappointed by your cowardly and lowly aspersions and cheap pronouncements and in particular how certain parties have connived to trample and disrespect the traditional chiefly seat of the Roko Tui Dreketi.”

Mr Sikivou, the party’s media and liaison officer and private secretary to Ro Teimumu, wrote the letter in his traditional role. But he admitted that  she had no prior approval nor knowledge of the letter.

The letter referred to the five MPs led by lawyer Mosese Bulitavu who wrote to SODELPA’s management board calling for an inquiry into the confidential report by a Gauna Vinaka.

The letter claimed SODELPA exploited Ro Teimumu’s public goodwill and profile at its launch “to catapult itself into the public eye and to maintain a strong position, as the single strongest voice against the regime.”

It highlighted the contributions by Ro Teimumu.

“Our Gone Marama Bale stood alone and stood tall in darker more difficult times challenging the Bainimarama regime on various issues…”

“The likes of Mosese Bulitavu and his fellow travellers were nowhere to be seen or head.

“Even in the darkest hours, when the Gone Marama Bale was arrested in the middle of the night from her chiefly residence, there was no material nor moral support from SDL/SODELPA.”

Party insiders say that it was not only Ro Teimumu who went through a difficult time during the period in question.

But the controversial letter underscores the continuing challenge facing Fijians about the political and traditional roles of chiefs. For the iTaukei especially, it is about where they draw the line.

There is one group in the party that believes that when chiefs enter politics they and their subjects should be prepared to take the heat. It says if they can’t then they should stay out of politics.

The opposite group advocates that chiefs bring a calming influence to politics.

It believes that they are natural leaders and their leadership is an asset.

But the other camp does not agree because of the involvement of some chiefs in the 1987 and 2000 coups..

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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