The Indian Prme Minister's Visit

PM Narendra Modi
STOP PRESS
Please be advised that all media content regarding the official visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, His Excellency, Narendra Modi which  includes speeches, photographs and videos can be found on www.fiji.gov.fj, our Facebook page and our YouTube account. -- MOI.






Why Ro Teimumu and SODELPA are boycotting Modi's visit and what Government has to say about the boycott. For other reports, see below.

Fiji opposition party plans boycott of Modi speech
As the Indian Prime Minister arrives in Fiji tomorrow, a diplomatic embarrassment is looming after the opposition SODELPA party said it would boycott the special parliamentary sitting

Narendra Modi is en route from Australia, where he addressed its Parliament and announced closer dealings between the countries. He is due to address Fiji's parliament tomorrow.
But the SODEPLA leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, told Fiji media she was disappointed to hear that the Fiji Prime Minister's vote of thanks will not include mention of her as the leader of the opposition.
In turn, the fifteen SODELPA members in Fiji's new Parliament say they will not attend the parliamentary sitting during which Mr Modi will give his speech.
Mr Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Fiji since Indira Gandhi travelled there in 1981.

Government's Response to SODELPA Boycott


The Government is extremely disappointed that SODELPA has decided to boycott the special Parliamentary meeting planned for the visiting Indian Prime Minister, H.E. Narendra Modi.

This visit is a national event, not a political one. It is an opportunity for our nation to engage the leader of the world’s largest democracy and one of Fiji’s most important international partners in discussions that are critical for Fiji’s future.

The visit to Parliament is an opportunity for the elected representatives of all the Fijian people—not just government—to share in this visit. Obviously, the government has primary responsibility for the visit and the official discussions, but it has taken care to ensure that H.E. Prime Minister Modi experiences a visit with all the people of Fiji.

A visit to Parliament gives him the opportunity to address all of Fiji’s elected leaders. Government notes, in fact, that the opposition leader, following protocol, is a member of the official welcoming and farewelling parties.

The traditional welcome ceremony, which will be conducted by people from Sorokaba in Ba, was designed to greet Mr. Modi in the proud iTaukei tradition, and also in a way befitting a leader who rose from humble beginnings to lead the world’s largest democracy.

Indeed, all arrangements were agreed with the Indian Government, and Prime Minister Modi’s representatives were pleased that the welcome would be a popular one and not a formal event for elites only.
SODELPA’s position is an insult to the people of Ba and all Fijians. The members of SODELPA have put their own political agenda ahead of the national interest. At this time, all Fijians should be united in putting our best foot forward.

Government believes that visiting leaders should not be used to fight petty political battles. This is an important moment for Fiji, a time for Fijians to put their differences aside—even momentarily—in the interests of the nation.

Unfortunately, SODELPA has passed up another opportunity to show that it can rise above petty politics and work for the national good. The burden is on SODELPA to show that it think beyond its own agenda, show true leadership, and focus on what is good for the nation.  -- MOI.

But NFP will attend. Click on link to FijiLive  

And FijiLeaks say "SODELPA is crying foul over the move to withdraw the vote of thanks they said the Opposition Leader was asked to give. Members said the decision was made by government members during the Business Committee yesterday afternoon. "The decision ignores the parliamentary best practice standards where the Prime Minister gives the welcome address and the Leader of the Opposition moves the vote of thanks," a SODELPA statement said. 

"The members said the decision meant the exclusion of opposition from all arrangements relating to Modi's visit although government insists this is not so as the Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa is also part of the official party to welcome and farewell the visiting Prime Minister Modi when he arrives and departs at the Nausori Airport tomorrow. 


"SODELPA also expressed concern at the "exclusion of chiefs" in the visit saying it meant that the ceremonies of welcome being accorded to Modi are not based on the normal traditional protocols that other visiting dignitaries and heads of state were accorded "and consequently any ceremonies planned will not embrace the depth, spirit and 'Mana' befitting a leader in Prime Minister Modi." 

 "But, government said the traditional welcome ceremony, which will be conducted by people from Sorokaba in Ba, is designed to greet Modi in the proud iTaukei tradition, "and also in a way befitting a leader who rose from humble beginnings to lead the world’s largest democracy." 

"The government said SODELPA's position is an insult to the people of Ba and all Fijians and in doing so "have put their own political agenda ahead of the national interest." "Indeed, all arrangements were agreed with the Indian Government, and Prime Minister Modi’s representatives were pleased that the welcome would be a popular one and not a formal event for elites only," a Fijian Government statement said. "


"At this time, all Fijians should be united in putting our best foot forward." Nevertheless, the SODELPA members are remaining firm and have written to Prime Minister Modi to convey their regrets at having to take the decision taken and have outlined reasons why. "SODELPA members said from the outset they had taken the decision to participate in the elections because they wanted to engage, and at every opportunity they have attempted to do just that, however the uncompromising stance of government has made it clear that although elections have concluded, the "top down" approach to governance remains a hindrance to any signs of an early start to a unified approach to resolving the many issues confronting the people of Fiji today," SODELPA said."



Comments

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Taxpayer said…
It's quite correct that SODELPA should rise above 'petty politics' and be part of the Indian prime minister's visit. It's just a pity that FijiFirst isn't able to lead the way by example.

The government's statement reads that the welcome is "..designed to greet Modi in the proud iTaukei tradition...". Why no mention of the 'Fijian' tradition or inclusion of other cultural (ie ethno Indian) items? That omission would have been calculated and is deliberate. I wonder why?

"The government said SODELPA's position is an insult to the people of Ba and all Fijians and in doing so have put their own political agenda ahead of the national interest." A statement that is highly ironic, coming as it does after the Prime Minister's earlier utterances to the effect that the north will suffer the development consequences of not having voted for him.

The government would have been better for giving no comment at all on SODELPA's protest, instead of trying to hypocritically extract political mileage out of it. Sadly, the unedifying spectacle continues of politicians of all stripes trying to grab some attention at the expense of their counterparts. This really is the 'petty politics' that was mentioned earlier and neither main party is immune.
Crosbie Walsh said…
@ Anonymous.. We no longer accept anonymous comments Please use your real name or a pseudonym. It makes for easier exchanges of opinion. Please click on the arrow next to "comment as" and use Name/Url. This one time, thought, I'm making an exception and have copied your comment below. Best wishes.

SODELPA's small mindedness will get it and its leadership nowhere. In reasoned diplomatic circles SODELPA's ill conceived boycott will play like a lead balloon. Sad.
SODELPA should get used to it: India is an emergent great power. Boycotting an address to Parliament by India's Prime Minister is plainly silly, a sign of immaturity. Sad too.

If the SODELPA boycott is motivated in part by lingering anti Indian sentiment that's not just sad, it is dumb.

Here's some reading material for the SODELPA leadership:

1. Bertil Lintner, Great Game East.
2. And while the SODELPA gang is at it they should also read Chanakya, the great Indian political philosopher and learn something about swan,daam, sand and bhed..
Crosbie Walsh said…
Agree on the Modi visit bu the PM corrected his Northern remark. He could have meant what we took him to mean but he could also, and not for the first time, just not have expressed himself very well. I'm hoping NFP might show itself as less petty.
tuisese said…
SODELPA has to rise above the situation! As for the claims of exclusion of Chiefs-maybe you right, but Ro Teimumu is a High Chief in her own right and no one excluded her, in fact she exclude her self???? As the old tukai use to say;" qiri na lali qerq na da"!
Bill Wadely said…
Very poor show by the 'So Help Me God Party'
Bill Wadely aka 'Vili the Kid' said…
They want us to be a Christian state but are unable to demonstrate that most fundamental Christian behaviour viz. turning the other cheek. When they cant get their own way, they get stroppy and throw a tantrum.
Ratu Ghandi said…
@ Waddling roti
Who is 'they'? Real Fijians?
Vili the Kid said…
@ Ratu Ghandu

The 'So help Me God Party' led by Mrs Kepa and her chief political advisor, Isoa Tikoca.
Jaati Bhai said…
and you also managed to squeeze in as an anonymouse chua !!
Jaati Bhai said…
@Kaisi Ghandu

Real Fijians were the ones sitting compliantly while being guarded by their muslim captors - they surrendered without a fight
Vili the Kid said…
@ Tatti Bhai

Where was your father and grandfather when the opportunity to show your mettle presented during WW2?

Real Fijians went out and defended the country; one of them won a VC.

Where were you lot? Hiding in your Tatti Ghare?
Jaati Bhai said…
@Vili the Kid , Chutia ke Chuttar

Defended which country ???

Fiji was never under attack.

Gullible kaisi's enlisted on orders of their chief's, so that the chief's could look good in the eyes of their colonial masters !!

WE lot were toiling in the cane fields, generating foreign exchange for Fiji, so you lot could buy sulus, instead of being in grass skirts.

Be grateful Chutia.
Crosbie Walsh said…
@Jaati, your comment comes very close to being racist. Most people commenting on this blog are trying to build a new Fiji by putting racism behind them.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vili the Kid said…
Not being close...but very racist. So why dont you delete the coments from this Ben Chod?

Tatti Bhai....stay the way you are you Kuta!

You cannot be regarded as 'real Fijians'; if you were not prepared to defend Fiji.

Just rermain as Girmitiya!
desi said…
ever the optimistist Croz , but you don't live there do you? You are trying to 'build a new fiji' by talking from afar, about a lived experience you have never had!
Tuisese said…
Vili the kid needs to know the true history not that was paraded by the colonial masters- Indo-Fijians joined the army but there was the issue of some were muslims some christians and some hindhus. Their eating habits had to sorted out especially when some didn't eat pork, some didnt eat beef etc. But no one told you that- the other issue was really the pay! So come off the crap bit -the Indians living in India had won more VC's that any other country that fought for King and country! When you get behind all the bull -the true sufaces- ask those Chiristian Indo-Fijians, who joined the army how they were treated by the Colonial master and also by kai Viti's for crying out aloud, during their military service for Fiji. Might just open your eyes & ears- theres few Indo -Fijians who served during the war still alive today if you care to ask around!

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons from Africa

Fijian Holdings Scandal: Betrayal by their trusted sons

The Ratu Tevita Saga, Coup4.5, Michael Field, the ANU Duo, and Tonga