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Oti 'Disappointed' In Australia

By Alison Ofotalau © USP Journalism Programme

SUVA: Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Patterson Oti says he is disappointed Australia did not respond to the government's request for Australian peacekeepers to be sent to the Pacific country.

In an interview with the Solomon Islands Brodacasting Corporation, Oti said requests for an intervention had been made "everyday by the Solomon Islands government and had been rejected everyday by Australia."

Australia earlier indicated its troops were only there to evacuate Australian citizens.

Oti said the last request for Australia to intervene in the current political and constitutional problem was made to his counterpart Alexander Downer during the recent Commonwealth delegation's visit to the country.

But he said it was rejected because foreign intervention was not in the best interests of international norms.

Meanwhile, a veteran politician and Vice-President of the People's Alliance Party, Sir David Kausimae, has blamed the colonial masters for the current problems in both Fiji and Solomon Islands.

In the case of Solomon Islands, Sir David said Britain had failed to build economic infrastructures on Malaita, resulting in the exodus of Malaitans to Guadalcanal where economic activities are centralised.

He said it was the British government that took Indians to Fiji which resulted in the problems currently being experienced.

Sir David said he was surprised that the British government had been silent in the wake of both the coups in Solomon Islands and Fiji.

He also questioned the actions taken by both Australia and New Zealand in condemning the situations in Solomon Islands and Fiji when they failed to recognise the rights of their indigenous people.

Sir David said Australia and New Zealand had created a bad image of the Solomon Islands by evacuating their nationals.


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