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Solomon Islands Broadcasting - 10am - 7 June

7 Jun 2000 - 12.00noon

Transcript of News items broadcast by Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation this morning at 10.00am (courtesy of SIBC)

PARL MEETS

The National Parliament will convene a special meeting next Thursday 15th June to resolve the current security and political crisis which continues to cripple Solomon Islands.

The decision follows intense negotiation since Monday between the Government Caucus and leaders of a joint operation of the police paramilitary force and the militant group, the Malaita Eagles Force.

The joint group led by lawyer Andrew Nori took over the state-owned armoury at the Police Headquarters, took over the streets of the capital and placed Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu under heavy military guard.

They also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Ulufa'alu.

In a joint statement issued this morning, Spokesman for Government Caucus, Paterson Oti and Joint Operation Spokesman Andrew Nori said Parliament will convene to activate the constitutional procedure for the removal of the Prime Minister.

The statement says in view of the announcement of a date for the meeting of Parliament, the 48 hours resignation notice issued by the joint operation was no longer necessary.

The heavy military style guard placed over the Prime Minister, Mr Ulufa'alu will also be removed as from today and placed under the care of the regular police.

The joint statement says consultation between the Government and the joint operation is continuing taking into consideration views of the international community.

The action by the joint operation have been strongly condemned by Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Great Britain, the Commonwealth and the European Union.

PATROL BOAT LUNGA

The Joint Para-military/MEF Operation this morning used one of the country's patrol boats to bombard the shoreline around Lunga area East of Honiara.

A check at the patrol boat base this morning confirmed that the bombardment was carried out by members of the joint operation.

Acting Police boss John Homelo said he has been notified about the incident this morning by the Minister for Police and national security, but said nothing much can be done.

COMMONWEALTH MEETING

A delegation of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will arrive in Honiara this Friday to investigate the current situation in Solomon Islands.

The decision to send the delegation was made at a meeting of the Group in London yesterday during which it discussed the situations in Solomon Islands and Fiji following illegal take overs of the duly elected governments in both countries.

The delegation to Solomon Islands will include chairman of the Group, who is the Foreign Minister of Botswana, the Foreign Minister of Australia, Alexander Downer and the Foreign Minister of New Zealand, Phil Goff.

While in Honiara, the delegation is expected to meet the governor general,Sir Father John Ini Lapli, the Prime Minister, Mr Ulufa'alu the Foreign Minister,Patteson Oti, leaders of the Malaita Eagles Force and Isatambu Freedom Movement, and other players in current situation in Solomon Islands.

At the end of their meeting in London, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group expressed their deep concern over the action by militant groups and elements of the paramilitary force against the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Ulufa'alu.

The Group called for the immediate return to constitutional government and the rule of law.

It urges the Malaita Eagle Force to withdraw from Honiara and remove all constraints on the Prime Minister and to surrender all their arms to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

The Group further urges the MEF and the Isatabu Freedom Movement to reaffirm and renew their commitment to the commonwealth brokered peace process in Solomon Islands.

At the same meeting in London yesterday, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group also agreed that Fiji should be suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth pending the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in that country.

The delegation of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will also visit Fiji.

SI FACES

A member of the European Union Parliament, Glenys Kinnock says the current ethnic unrest in the country has brought a lot of hardship and suffering to the ordinary people

Ms Kinnock, who is a member of the ACP and the European union delegation which visited the country was speaking yesterday in a press interview in Honiara.

The mission was here to assess the problems associated with the ethnic tension both on Guadalcanal and Malaita.

Ms Kinnock said the worst affected by the crises are women and children .

She said they have enormous need in education, health and economical development.

Ms Kinnock stressed that while her delegation is here not to judge or take side in the conflict, it also wants to listen to what everyone had to tell them.

Ms Kinnock added there is a risk of the country being crippled if overseas communities and organisations withdraw their help because of the current political crises.

She says the EU delegation accepts that there is a problem of law and order, but the way the situation has been handled to find a solution is unlikely to benefit the people of the country.

ENDS/// SIBC NEWS


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