Friday, 18 January 2008 8:08 AM

Sikua, Tell the Truth About Tsunami Funds: Leader of Opposition, Sogavare

Leader of Opposition, Manasseh Sogavare, is urging Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua to tell the truth about the allocation of funds by the Sogavare-led government for tsunami victims of Western Province.

Mr. Sogavare's call follows Prime Minister Sikua's accusation leveled at the former Sogavare government of "having neglected the tsunami victims".

The accusation was described as "a slap in the face" for the Western Provincial government and its hundreds of homeless people victimized by the April 2007 tsunami.

Mr. Sogavare told SIBC news that his government prioritized the rehabilitation of the tsunami victims, and millions of dollars was allocated for the rehabilitation programme.

The Leader of Opposition reiterated his claims that the money was misappropriated by the MP for Gizo/Kolombangara, Gordon Darcy Lilo, who was Minister of Finance at the time.

Mr. Sogavare said it was for that reason that he removed Mr. Lilo from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, a move that led to the toppling of his government.

The Opposition Leader told SIBC that instead of accusing the former Government of negligence, Dr. Sikua should demand Mr. Lilo, now Environment and Conservation Minister, to apologize to the Western Provincial government and people for corrupting the rehabilitation funding.

Mr. Sogavare said Dr. Sikua must always remember the painful truth that his government was formed out of corruption and that his attempts to suppress the truth would not prevail.

The former Prime Minister told SIBC that it was his stand against corruption, and for the truth, that resulted in his downfall and he was proud of that record.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province