Helen In Honiara
A virtual visit to Solomon Islands capital Honiara with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, October 23, 2005, (features images and audio)
From Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson on Assignment in Papua New Guinea and the Solomons – CLICK IMAGES FOR BIG VERSIONS
Prime Minister Helen Clark today went on a tour of Honiara's hotspots in the company of the premiers of Samoa, Nauru & Kiribas.
The view on approach to Anderson Field, Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, aboard RNZAF Flight NPB970
Rove central police station and prison. This image, taken from the gate, shows soldiers from RAMSI on duty outside the barbed wire encased enclosure. While Helen and guests walked around the perimeter of the prison, media were left at the gate, and police at the gate were less then forthcoming about why this was so.
However according to the word in the street, local media and newspaper reports Scoop can divulge that in early October a riot broke out after prisoners refused to be locked down in protest at conditions in the prison.
According to some reports they wanted to watch TV. Things turned nasty and prisoners have since had their mosquito nets confiscated because they were using them as slingshots. The prison itself was recently privatised and is now being run by a company owned by Australian Media Baron Kerry Packer.
As we are locked out of the prison visit, we cross the road to visit a peace memorial on the Honiara waterfront instead. The memorial records the names of police officers from RAMSI and the RSIP who have died in the course of duty. To date only one member of RAMSI an Australian police officer has been killed in the line of duty.
Nearing the end of the day Helen Clark visited RAMSI and held an end of the day press conference with her Pacific Island colleagues including (pictured) Sir Allan Kemakeza (image by Jason Dorday)