Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Solomon Islands: The Tables Are Turned

Solomon Islands: The Tables are Turned

Report by Yasmine Ryan
Images by Jason Dorday – Click To View Photo Essay
On Assignment in the Solomon Islands for

The hands of the people celebrate in unison after Snyder Rini`s resignation. The day has seen an emotional turn-around with thousands taking to the streets in celebration.

(Honiara, 26 April 2006) – In stark contrast with the mood last week, ordinary Solomon Islanders, in Honiara and across the islands, are today celebrating with exuberance. Sworn in only last Friday, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Snyder Rini was forced to resign this morning. Hon. John Patteson did not need to go ahead with his scheduled motion of no confidence. Patteson first gave Rini the opportunity to save face, calling on him to resign before the motion was passed. Rini accepted, knowing full well that he no longer had the numbers to maintain his post. “I have no alternative but to tender my resignation”, he professed.

Solomon's Prime Minister Snyder Rini resigns from his post of Prime Minister in Solomon Islands Parliament.

Parliament was under tight security, with snipers posted on the roof and the entire surroundings cordoned off. Ramsi (Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands) and the PPF (Participating Police Force) troops armed with assault rifles patrolled the area. Some had light machine guns pointed down the hill towards any potential rioters intending to swarm Parliament. Huey choppers with door gunners orbited the area.

Rini’s resignation, however, meant there was no repeat of the violence that marred his coming to power. Despite the arrest of two opposition MPs, which should have given Rini a majority in today’s vote, 4 to 6 members of his own party, led by Manesha Sogavare, decided to vote in support of the opposition’s motion. At the ad-hoc opposition head-quarters of the Iron Bottom Sound Hotel, Sogavare was made leader, which appears to have been the reward for his support. He now looks set to become Prime Minister, a role he previously held in 2000-2001.

Down on Honiara’s streets, people rejoiced at the news. As we left the Parliament, people had already heard the news from Solomons Islands Broadcasting Corporation radio. People were standing on the street, their teeth stained red with beetle nut. Cars paraded up and down the street, with youths hanging off the back. Flags were flown, and the honking and cheering resonated across the town.

Scoop spoke with a couple of the relieved crowd, who told us that if Rini had retained power the violence would have been worse than last week’s destructive riots. Jack Alufurai and Mike Sale were amongst many who had come from the provinces especially for today. The pair had come from Malaita on a boat full of like-minded Solomon Islanders who felt the motion of no confidence was vital to the nation’s interests. “Everything is going to be okay now” they told us, grinning.

Man stands listening to the opposition MPs talk to the crowd.

We followed the flow towards Iron Bottom Sound Hotel, where Sogavare spoke to those gathered through the bars of the gate. Eventually, he urged the crowd to be peaceful for the good of the Solomon Islands, which they did. Before departing, they joined their likely new Prime Minister in a verse of the national anthem, arms waving in the air.

(coverage continuing…)

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news