Air right crisis - Solomon Star News
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Air right crisis

01 August 2014
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Dear Editor - The air right fight between Fiji and Solomon Islands has been going on for over two weeks.

It is spilling into week three without any solution in sight. PM Lilo left our shores for his overseas travel without solving the problem.

The crisis is affecting the ordinary people very badly. I was stuck in Fiji for a few days because of the dispute. There are a few lessons from this crisis. Fiji and Solomon Is are members of MSG.

MSG has proved to be 'useless' in resolving differences between members of the organization.

So much for MSG! It has also shown that the 'pacific way' of doing things only applies to genuine Melanesians or Polynesians, who have the hearts to give and take.

We see from the media that the one speaking for Fiji has no such heart to amicably deal with differences between neighbors.

I see from today's Star that our high Commissioner is a member of the delegation to the Palau Forum. I wonder what his role in Palau would be. Is this just a holiday trip?

He should be in his base in Suva (not Palau) doing his best to talk to Bainimarama and his government on ways to resolve the crisis.

I thought that our PM was a close buddy of Frank. Further we supported Fiji's cause in various international fora, including PIDF. As such I do not expect Fiji to kick us in the mouth when it came to landing rights in Fiji for our airline.

Because of such 'close' relations, I expect understanding not arrogance which is being demonstrated by Fiji airways CEO and Fiji Minister for Civil Aviation.

Should we not enforce our legal rights against Fiji? Where are the lawyers to refer our air right crisis to arbitration?

I appeal to Director of Civil Aviation and Attorney General and his legal team to look at ways of protecting our rights.

Lastly, I appeal to our politicians that in future, not to 'blindly' follow others like our leaders did in supporting Frank and his military coup, only from Kaiyum and Bainimarama to kick us in the gut when in our hour of need.

Eddie Marahare

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