Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jimmy 'Rasta' Lusibaea released from jail

In another somewhat bizarre turn of events in the politics of Solomon Islands, the renown ex-militant commander and former government Minister, Jimmy 'Rasta' Lusibaea has been paroled.

While the reasons and the basis of his release are still unknown, the Solomon Islands media have reported that Mr. Lusibaea's release was made on the recommendations of the Solomon Island Parole Committee. 

A government senior government has also confirmed this report yesterday at 

"I can confirm that Hon. JL, together with about 2 other prisoners were released this afternoon under the provisions of the Correctional Services Act and relevant CC regulations and not the provisions under the Constitution that deals with the Prerogative of Mercy. The application was made by her private lawyer(s), none of which works at the [Public Solicitor's Office]", he said. 

SIBC News, reported that last week a sub-group of a Demonstration Committee had written to the Governor-General requesting a constitutional pardon for Mr. Lusiba'ea. 

The Governor General had responded to the request saying while he had the power to grant constitutional pardon it is only upon the recommendation from the Parole Committee.

The Parole Committee then met yesterday 14 January 2011, and among other things, decided on the release of Mr. Lusibaea. 

Prejudiced understands that despite Mr. Lusibaea's parole, the High Court is still to preside on his bail application. 

The concern now that the current Philip-led government has to be prepared to address is this: obviously they have given Mr. Lusibaea "selective justice" or special treatment, and people will be demanding answers as to the basis of their actions and their intervention in the judicial system and processes in Solomon Islands. The government therefore must be prepared to take responsibility for their actions and be answerable to the people when they are required to.

For sure the people of Guadalcanal will be demanding equal treatment of some of their clansmen who are also currently behind bars. It would be very interesting to see how the government will respond to such requests should they may raised- and am sure they would. 

Another issue that makes me wonder is that the government has been boasting about its numbers that they have the comfortable support of the House despite Lusibaea's imprisonment. 

But why do they have to go out of their way and try to save their colleague if that is the case.

Or perhaps this action is not about the numbers? Then what would it be about? I really don't know. My guess: Solomon Island's Deputy Prime Minister is also a former militant. This may help to explain why the integrity of the government of the people of Solomon Islands is being put under pressure just for the shake of one man, who prior to becoming a businessman and Member of Parliament was a ruthless militant. 

Apart from being a militant, as a newly converted-businessman Mr. Lusibaea also have other businessman-friends in the current government in the likes of the Deputy Speaker and MP for West Honiara and owner of Honiara Casino, Namson Tran and Bodo Dettke, government minister, MP for North West Guadalcanal and private entrepreneur and logger. 

The real question that looms is that, why would any government would want to save a person that has helped to bring down Solomon Islands just few years ago? 

The answer to the question is unknown. But what we know is that the current government is full of  characters that would not hesitate to use their current positions of power to pursue their own interests and ambitions.

In all these, they have forgotten that the very power they are abusing belongs not to them but to the people of this country, they very people they are now ignoring and whose rights they are abusing. 

All these may look proper and correct on paper, but morally they are not. The people of Solomon Islands deserve better!

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