Dealing with neighbours, Khaiyum style

Inoke Kubuabola was forced to fly all the way to the Solomon Islands via Brisbane to meet his counter-part, while the Solomon Island minister responsible for air services was forced to fly all the way to Fiji (again via Australia) in order to get the fair treatment the Solomons had been asking for. Some might call this the mountain coming to Mohammed. We’d call it dealing with neighbours Khaiyum style. He gets to show everyone who’s the boss. Kubuabola’s nose is rubbed in the dirt and the Solomon Islands are reminded of the need to kowtow to Fiji. The FijiLive report makes no mention of what the substance of the dispute was, but that probably doesn’t matter to Khaiyum. What matters to him is that he looks like top dog and everybody else – his colleague, Kubuabola, and the Solomon Islands delegation – look like they have to do Khaiyum’s bidding. Air Services were stopped in July last year after the Solomon Islands Government protested lack of equal treatment for their airlines and it will be 11 months before they resume. The Solomons may now have the fair treatment they demanded as a condition of letting Fiji Airways back into the Solomons, but the price Khaiyum demanded was that he looks like the big bwana and they look like the beggars forced to come to his door begging for scraps.

FijiLive January 12, 2015: Solomons fights on soon as row resolved.

3 Responses to “Dealing with neighbours, Khaiyum style”

  1. Keep The Faith Says:

    There has been no expense spared to downplay the seriousness of this issue and now 2 Ministers are deployed to firefight what looks to be a serious diplomatic protocol faux pas.

    Khaiyum levelled some allegations against another sovereign Melanesian government in Parliament and it could well surface again that further porkies were spun as is his usual MO.

    “In June this year, the Solomon Islands Government said, “Let us review the ASA”, and we said, “Yes, fine, because it is an outdated ASA, let us review it.” During the process of the review, what Solomon Islands Government did when Fiji Airways (which had the right to have the flight from Nadi/Honiara direct) refused on two occasions a plane full load of people and cargo for us to fly from Nadi to Honiara, despite the negotiations been going on and the fact that we had the legal right to do so under the ASA.

    We said, “Please stop doing that.” However, they continued, and we also continued to fly from Nadi/Vila/Honiara. When they did it the second time, we said, “we will stop you from coming in” and because they stopped also our Nadi/Vila/Honiara.

    Now, just to fast-track a little bit, of course, there are certain breaches by them under the ASA, and indeed under the MOU. We did not want this because we have a lot of Solomon Island students here and also trade under the MSG Agreement, et cetera. As a retaliation also, we stopped the Co- Chair on Air Niugini flight on the Honiara/Nadi lag, because they had taken steps against us basically commercially undermining Fiji Airways, and indeed undermining Fiji….

    …Madam Speaker, we are still very keen, we want to fly to Honiara. I suspect what is actually happening is that we have a few people sitting in the Solomon Island Airlines that are probably sabotaging this issue. We are quite keen, Madam Speaker, to continue to resume the flights and we very much want to do that. I thank the honourable Karavaki for his question. Vinaka!”

    Assess it for yourself from the parliamentary hansard report here http://www.parliament.gov.fj/getattachment/Hansard/WEDNESDAY-3RD-DECEMBER,2014.pdf.aspx

  2. Aunty Nur Says:

    Our great leader Khaiyum has been elected by an overwhelming majority of people because they like his confidence and his firm hand. Khaiyum has done the right thing showing the pathetic Banana republic of the Solomon’s who is boss.

  3. jone lako Says:

    AG is very highhanded in all his dealings and above law. there are Courts in Fiji yet he fires people indiscriminately. Then stacks government and also local governments with his people, usually Muslims. The latter is over represented in Key jobs in Fiji. this is unreal and he must go. Is there anyone in Fiji who can investigate and fire him for abiuse of office?

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