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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

North Malaita Chiefs applaud RAMSI’s work

[Submitted by Moffat Mamu on 28 March, 2006 (Solomon Star Online News)]

Local leaders in North Malaita have applauded the work of RAMSI so far in the restoration of law and order in Solomon Islands. Speaking to the visiting RAMSI delegation at Malu’u last Friday, a local chief Tom Stranger said since the arrival of RAMSI people who have once lived in fear are now enjoying their freedom again.

"There is now peace and order in parts of the northern region and we thank RAMSI for their dedication and time to come and help out. "Mr Stranger said he was held at gunpoint during the crisis and being a victim he was really happy with RAMSI’s presence.

"During the crisis there was no access to medicine and people have suffered, but now we have hope for the future. "There were negative reactions about RAMSI’s presence but the work you have rendered has improved and changed the lives of people in this country especially those of us in the grassroot level," Mr Stranger told the visiting RAMSI delegation at Malu’u. Therefore, he called on RAMSI on behalf of Malu’u chiefs to continue with their good work and help revive the economy of the country before they leave.

Speaking in response to Mr Stranger, RAMSI special coordinator James Batley said RAMSI would ensure Solomon Islands is able to stand on its own before it could pack up and go home. At the moment, he said there is still a lot of work to be done in the country’s recovery process. Mr Batley told the chiefs that Solomon Islands has the potential to develop given its resources but it would take time.

Malaita Premier Reuben Moli on behalf of the Malaita Province also applauded the work of RAMSI over the years and thanked the delegation for their visit to the province on Friday.

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