Monday, 17 October 2011 8:23 AM

Sikua Critical of Diplomatic Postings

The Opposition says it is very concerned with recent diplomatic postings to Fiji and Taiwan, along with the costs for repatriating the outgoing heads of these missions home and re-posting them to their new missions.

Two former Foreign Ministers, Patterson Oti and Laurie Chan, will replace the current Solomon Islands High Commissioner in Suva, Moses Kouni Mose and the current Solomon Islands Ambassador in Taipei, Victor Ngele.

Opposition Leader, Dr Derek Sikua said whilst he respects the fact that both Mr Chan and Mr Oti had each served as Ministers for Foreign Affairs, experience and political affiliation alone should not be the benchmark for such important appointments, but moral behaviour and job commitment as well.

Dr Sikua questions whether these are the most suitable candidates the NCRA Government can find for these important assignments.

He said the heads of overseas diplomatic missions are the "face of our country to the world and their personal behaviour and attitude and commitment towards their duties is very important."

Dr Sikua said it is on this basis that he questions the suitability of Mr Oti and Mr Chan as the heads of the diplomatic missions in Suva and Taipei.

The Opposition Leader said there are a lot of young and enthusiastic career diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who should be considered for these overseas appointments.

On the cost for repatriating the outgoing heads of missions in Suva and Taipei and posting them to new overseas missions, the Opposition Leader said this is an important issue the NCRA Government should have considered before making any changes in postings.

Dr Sikua said the cost of repatriating Mr Mose and his family from Suva to Solomon Islands before heading to Geneva and Mr Ngele and his family from Taipei to Honiara before taking up his new assignment in Malaysia will be a very expensive exercise for the Government.