RELATIVES of the Christian Fellowship Church (CFC) spiritual leader who passed away last week confirmed the Prime Minister was unwelcomed and forced to return upon arrival for the funeral service of the late Sir Ikan Rove.
After seeing the denial by the Prime Minister’s press secretary Douglas Marau yesterday, some relatives of the church leader said the denial was a “fat lie”.
“It was a very shameful thing at Ramata. The Prime Minister and his delegation were told to board the plane and return to Honiara because they were not welcomed at the funeral service.
“A person by the name Molo Vagi was sent to tell the Prime Minister upon arrival at Ramata, to turn back.
“The PM’s delegation was not accepted there. It was surprising the Prime Minister decided to go without proper consultation and invitation.
“We were surprised the Prime Minister used the visiting Australian Minister of Justice to justify the shameful rejection,” a relative told the Solomon Star.
The Solomon Star was at the airport when the Prime Minister rushed in late to meet the Australian Minister who was already preparing to board the flight back home.
Before leaving for Western Province, Mr Lilo said the Australian Minister will be taken care of by the deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga, without knowing the deputy Prime Minister was also in his constituency in Malaita.
The relatives said claims of returning to meet the Australian Minister was an excuse to justify the disgraceful rejection.
The relatives claimed that Member of Parliament and the brother of the late Sir Ikan Rove, Dudley Tausinga, and others were also unwelcomed.
“Only former Prime Minister Danny Philip was allowed to attend.”
One relative said this was in relation to the split of the CFC members recently.
The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in response to the rejection claim said Mr Lilo had to return back to Honiara to attend an important meeting with the visiting Minister of Australia the following day.
By EDNAL PALMER