GOV’T DROPS AXE ON 2 PAs - Solomon Star News


22 October 2019
Douglas Marau (left) and Celsus Talifilu (right) got their marching orders last Friday.

THE Government, Friday, sacked two political appointees, weeks after it fired five of its ministers over the China switch.

Deputy Press Secretary Douglas Marau and Policy Secretary to Productive Sector in the Prime Minister’s Office Celsus Talifilu got their marching orders two days after Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare arrived from his week-long visit to China.

Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Albert Kabui confirmed the sackings.

“The decision to terminate their contracts was made when the prime minister and his officials were in China,” Kabui said.

“This is a decision that was done at the political level and it has nothing to do with anyone of us who were also contracted as PAs in this ruling government,” he added.

Kabui denied speculations that Chief of Staff Robson Djokovic was behind the sackings.

 “We cannot blame anyone because all of us are answerable to the government of the day and we can be terminated at any time if the decision comes from the head of the government,” he said.

Djokovic also told the Solomon Star last night the decision was made at the highest political level.

 “I am just another PA working under the leadership of this government and anytime I can be sacked,” Djokovic said.

He added Manasseh Maelanga, who was acting prime minister when Sogavare was away, came up with the decision after consulting Caucus.

“At the end of the day, this is just another political decision made by the leaders of the coalition government.

“Maybe in the next few days we will know the reasons as to why the decision to sack the two PAs was made,” he added.

Talifilu and Marau are both well-qualified and experienced individuals that have worked and served under the current and previous governments.

Talifilu has a Masters in Public Policy from the Victoria University of Wellington and Bachelor Arts in Economics and Marine from the USP.

Marau was press secretary who served under two Prime Ministers’ Gordon Darcy Lilo and Rick Hou. 

He was also a former Press Secretary to Opposition Leader Hon Jerry Manele.

He holds a postgraduate diploma in Diplomacy and International Affairs and Bachelor Arts in Communications Arts Journalism.

The duo became PAs through their affiliation with the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP).

One of DAP’s founders and former prime minister Rick Hou was among the five Sogavare recently sacked for refusing to support the China switch.