To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

Welcome to the TARD Homepage...{Sore lea tale oe uri fula lamu mai la biu ne'e TARD}...TARD is To'abaita's rural voice on the web

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

TECHMART Fair Trade Show launched this morning in Honiara

Solomon Islands small and medium scale Entrepreneurs will be able to showcase their products during a four-day technological trade show which starts June 27th to 30th.

Participants of the TECHMART trade show met for the first time this morning at the proposed show venue at the Town Ground Area of Honiara.

President of TECHMART orginising committee, Lency Teobasi highlighted the relevance of what he describes as the mini trade show.

He says the concept of TECHMART is the marketing of technology available in our own country.

"The objective of the exhibition is to enable us have an interactive environment as exhibitors or businesses or companies, to come and showcase our products, as well as some developments within our groups in Solomon Islands. Also to look at potential buyers or traders, to have first hand experience and eye opening opportunity for all of us to see what products we have. A lot of times, we have our own products, but we seem to be too busy within our own processing and manufacturing in our little hide aways, and no one really knows who is doing what and what is available in the market."

TECHMART trade show is specially geared towards selling the technology products to potential clients who are serious about going into business.


Health Officials speak on dangers of Tobacco Smoking

Director of Disease Control Unit in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has made a strong statement to both government and citizens of Solomon Islands on health problems which relate to tobacco smoking.

Speaking at an event to mark World No Tobacco Day over the SIBC this morning, doctor John Paulsen called on the government and all elected members of Parliament to take active part in the fight against tobacco smoking.

Dr Paulsen said the responsibility does not lie only with the Ministry of Health, nor donor partners, NGOs and Churches.

He said everybody in the country has to play an active role in protecting their future and that of their children, adding that smoke- related sicknesses continue to impose heavy burden on the national health budget.

"Go to number nine [hospital] or to other provincial hospitals, you will see that the number of people who are being seen or admitted, the majority of these people have diseases that are associated with tobacco smoking, cigarrette smoking, smoking pipes, tobacco rolls and all these different roles of smoking. Talhing about cardio vascular diseases or heart diseases or diserases of the blood vessels, lungs diseases, TB, and all these kinds of diseases are a problem to the nation and continuing to be a problem, and is growing every day."

He said smoke-related sickness are not unique to Solomon Islands, but the world over.

Dr Paulsen said if people want to live long to see their children grow and to enjoy the better part of their lives, then they have to take care of themselves.

He warned leaders and citizens of the country who are already smokers to quit, and for would be smokers to just don't even think about starting.


Announcement of TARD Logo Competition: sponsored by Leliana Firisua

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD), a volunteer student group that was formed late last year in August 2005 by North Malaita scholars at the University of the South Pacific is pleased to announce a logo competition for its letterhead and website.

Prize: FJD$100 cash for the best logo (sponsored by Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua)

Eligibility: Open to only To'abaita or part-To'abaita students in all the institutions in Fiji.

- the logo must be unique to North Malaita or To'abaita
- it must be reflective of the vision and goals of TARD
- it must promote peace, reconciliation and rural development
- it must not plagiarize other existing logos
- only 1 entry per person can be accepted and no co-artists
- it can either be drawn by hand or computer

Deadline: 25th June 2006

Entries with contact details can be emailed or hand delivered to any of the TARD leaders.

Meanwhile, TARD is also pleased to update our members that we have received a good will contribution from one of our supporters in Honiara, Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua and family. The actual amount has been emailed to all TARD contacts. The funds will be used towards the logo competition and the opening of a TARD Cheque account with ANZ Bank to kick start our planned activities. On that note, we wish to formally thank Mr Leliana Firisua and family for the financial support which empowers the group to move forward to another step.

Other latest developments is that TARD has already compiled a working paper for North Malaita Constituency and is being circulated for feedbacks from members. After that a final paper will be drafted and submitted to our national Member of Parliament and To'abaita leaders in the Solomon Islands, as a guideline towards the formulation of a workable development plan for North Malaita Constituency over the next four years.

Furthermore, upon suggestions from our working elites in Honiara TARD is also pursuing the appointment of a 5 member committee to be based in the Solomon Islands as our network to oversee our plans as well as advancing the TARD concept to fellow To'abaitans in Honiara and Malaita.

Finally, TARD is thankful to all our continuous supporters both in the Solomon Islands and abroad for your confidence in the initiative that we have taken. Through collective efforts we can overcome anything.

Honiara Secondary soccer finals today

The European Union's Unity through Sport senior boys' soccer final is expected to attract a huge crowd to Lawson Tama this afternoon.

Unbeaten Panatina Community High School team is the pre-match favourite to win the qualifying competition and earn the right to represent Honiara. State-owned King George VI school team is confident to avenge their loss in pool match by winning the grand final. Its squad was bolstered with the return of young sensational striker Bentley Nalagu who was away with his Marist FC in Auckland when the school competition started.At the center, former national Under 17 striker Judd Molea played a key role in setting up scoring opportunities but it was apparent that finishing was a problem until Nalagu arrived.

Panatina also boast the services of former national U17 midfielder Lenson Bisili who provided the killer goals for his team in their pool matches. They also have the services of Uncles left defender John Inito, Hardis Aengari (Junior Flamingo FC) and former U17 goalkeeper Leon Lekezoto. Other uncapped players in the team are equally competitive and it is for this reason they are hot favorite to win.

Whatever happens it will be a must see match and the general public are urged to go to Lawson Tama to witness the two schools compete for the right to represent Honiara in the upcoming Unity through Sport soccer finals. Meanwhile, normal gate fees will be charged to patrons to see the grand final. The grandstand fee is $5 while standing on the hillside is $3. School students in uniforms will pay $2. As it is the grand final, security at the ground will be beefed up for this occasion and spectators both students and outsiders are reminded not to carry bags into Lawson Tama.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Independent MPs support policy shift: Enele Kwanairara

The Office for the Independent Members of Parliament says it will support any policy redirection to focus on a multitude of rural based industries to stimulate economic development for the marginalised people of this country.

Its leader Daniel Enele Kwanairara revealed this yesterday when commenting on the current social and economic issues facing Solomon Islands as a Small Island Nation highlighted in the Central Bank of Solomon Islands’ 2005 Annual Report.

“As major economic player and planner, the National Government needs to seriously and make policy shifts to take advantage of this wealth of information while we still enjoy relative peace,” he said.

Referring to the country’s continuous reliance on log export revenue, Mr Kwanairara said whilst it is good news in the short-run, new policy directions must be taken immediately by government to address the long-term ‘dark-side’ of the industry.
“We are over-dependent on the exploitation of our forest resources.“The current levels seem to be increasing and at highly unsustainable levels. Given the need to be more vigilant on the environmental impact and the need for broadening the economic base, new policy shifts or direction seems imminent and overdue,” he said.According to the CBSI report, the country continues to rely heavily on income raised through the unsustainable exploitation of our forest.

In 2005, the CBSI report stated that log production overran volumes in 2004 (by 7.1 per cent) to a record of 1.1 million cubic meters and generated SBD$510 million.With regards to the longer-term dark-side of the industry, Mr Kwanairara questioned how long can Solomon Islands continue to harvest its forest resources without over-burdening or hurting the fragile ecosystems, which provides for food, firewood, canoes, houses, medicine, water and many m of the good things that is required for the sustaining of human life in these hapi isles?

“If we fail to aggressively pursue a meaningful reforestation programme now, what alternatives do we have? What are the government’s post-logging plans and policies for alternative industries for the rural population?” he asked.Mr Kwanairara said the Independent Members of Parliament look forward for enlightenment from the Government’s policy framework, especially for policy shifts or redirection that would bring about long-term tangible economic development to the marginalised resource owners.

“For far now the forest owners have given away their resources for a dollars and the logging companies with their ‘middle-dealers’ have earned millions.“Both the provincial and national governments know about this problem of unsustainable harvesting and the little economic return to forest owners but little or nothing at all has been done to rectify this very serious situation,” he said.

Mr Kwanairara said the independent group wants the root issues addressed immediately by and through strategic policy shifts that will see more benefits to the people.“The ‘Focus on Rural Areas” mind-set by the Sogavare-led Administration must be congratulated for this paradigm shift.

However, the Independent group warns that such new initiative should not simply remain in glossily bound reports or booklets “but it must be seen to be carried out for the benefit of all citizens”.“The root evil emanates from the governments weakness (or lack of political will) take a strong policy stand against mindless logging in such small islands such as Solomon Islands.”Mr Kwanairara said the logging companies are here to make quick money - this is what they are good at, and they are staying because we allowed them to carry on business as usual.At the tail end of the ‘dark-side’, he said, the industry has been plagued with practices that directly undermine maximisation of national revenue, especially income for the resource owners.

The MP for North Malaita said the CBSI report continues to reveal what is vital to the choices that need to be taken.


Induction course opens for Members of Parliament

The induction course for members of parliament has opened in Honiara.

PM, Manasseh Sogavare and MP Steve Abana at the Induction Service

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Manaseh Sogavare said the course is taking place at a crucial time for Solomon Islands.He said it is a time that members of parliament are preparing for the tasks ahead of them; of serving their people.

"I see this program as a toll to assist members to meet the many challenges that they will face individually and collectively. I believe this program will encourage and foster greater understanding of our role as parliamentarians and strengthen our ability to meet the challenges ahead."

Prime Minister Sogavare said the message for members of parliament is to listen to each other and find new ways to fulfil their roles as leaders of the people of Solomon Islands.

news source:

USP hosts gathering for Pacific Artists

One of the biggest gatherings of Pacific Island artists, musicians and scholars is set to take place during a Conference next month.

Hosted by the University of the South Pacific at its Laucala Campus in Suva from July 3 to 7, the conference, dubbed Vaka Vuku – Navigating Knowledge, brings together about 150 delegates from New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the Northern Pacific region.

Aside from the presentation of papers, a Pacific film and arts festival will be among the highlights of the week.

The director of the conference, Larry Thomas, says the idea emerged in 2004 when USP academics raised the need for a forum to discuss issues relevant to the Pacific.

He says it's a celebration and a way forward of knowing and discussing what’s happening around the world and in the region.

The event would allow Pacific scholars to discuss different ways and manners of approaching Pacific knowledge as compared to European knowledge.

He says the event would not only benefit the participants but also USP in terms of raising its academic profile.

News source:

Strategy launched to deepen EU's relations with Pacific

A strategy to deepen European Union’s relations with the 14 Pacific ACP countries has been launched in Papua New Guinea.

A strategy to deepen European Union’s relations with the 14 Pacific ACP countries has been launched in Papua New Guinea.

The 14 African Caribbean and Pacific -A-C-P countries are - Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

A brief statement issued after the launch in the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby said this was the first formal strategy in 30 years of E-U/Pacific relations.

The strategy aims to strengthen political dialogue, provide greater focus to development cooperation and improve the effectiveness of aid delivery.

The proposal reflects the growing environmental, political and economic importance of the Pacific region.

The three main areas of EU’s interest in the Pacific are: building strong political relations, development co-operation and increasing the efficiency of aid delivery.

News source:

Monday, May 29, 2006

Consultant team to look at merger of Regional Bodies

A four member team has been appointed to consult member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum on a proposed regional institutional framework, which includes a suggestion to merge five regional agencies into a Pacific Commission.

Three members have been appointed – the former New Zealand diplomat, Adrian Simcock, former director general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Lourdes Pangelinan and senior Kiribati bureaucrat, Makurita Baairo.

The search is on for a group leader after Kaliopate Tavola, was re-appointed as Fiji's foreign affairs and external trade minister last week.

An official from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat said that Mr Tavola had agreed in principle to head the review team and was just about to sign his contract when he was recalled to join the Fiji cabinet.

The group will consider some of the recommendations made by Australian consultant based in Solomon Islands, Tony Hughes in his report, “Strengthening Regional Management: a Review of the Architecture for Regional Co-operation in the Pacific.”

Hughes in his report has recommended the merging of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, South Pacific Geoscience Commission, South Pacific Environment Programme and the Forum Fisheries Agency.

He said the five regional organisations, would merge into what will eventually be called the Pacific Commission.

The team will have a month to work on a report to be submitted to Leaders at their annual summit in Tonga in October.

News source: SIBC Online (

Government determined to redirect economic policies

The Grand Coalition for Change Government is determined to redirect economic policies to empower resource owners to have a meaningful long-term participation in the economy.

This policy has been one of the immediate tasks the government is going to implement as part of its economic recovery plan.

According to the Government's Policy Framework Document, focus will centre on rural development and the bottom up approach in planning and will make structural changes to critical institutions where appropriate.

The policy also involves the governments support for the ongoing tax reform exercise, debt relief management and will put in place measures to enhance revenue collection with a view of achieving financial sustainability.

While appreciating the previous administrations work on economic recovery and reform, the current government in formulating the next development plan will, emphasise rural development, independent economic growth, access to credit and the fair distribution of wealth and opportunities.

The policy document was launched by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Honiara last week.

News source: SIBC Online (

Friday, May 26, 2006

Solomons PM happy with RAMSI troop withdrawal

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says his Government is comfortable with Australia's decision to withdraw most of its troops from the Pacific Island nation.

Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said on Wednesday about 260 of its 400 troops would be brought home.

Most were deployed last month to quell rioting that broke out in the capital, Honiara, when Snyder Rini was elected prime minister.

"They came here in response to a situation, that situation is over, there is no longer a need to stay," Mr Sogavare said.

Mr Sogavare was elected after the rioting forced Mr Rini to step down eight days after he was elected.

Australia has had a military and police presence in the Solomon Islands since July 2003 when an Australian-led intervention force arrived to end five years of civil unrest.

The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) remains in the country, ensuring security and rebuilding government institutions.

"The decision to withdraw troops was based on an independent RAMSI assessment of the country situation," Mr Sogavare said

Mr Sogavare has said he supports RAMSI's mission, but that it should have a clear exit strategy so the Solomon Islands Government can resume full sovereignty.

Source: ABC News Online (

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Officials quizzed about 'embarrassing' Solomons email

Senior federal public servants have been forced to answer questions in a Senate estimates hearing about how they dealt with an embarrassing email about candidates for prime minister in the Solomons.

The email was written by a Finance Department official, who described the three candidates as depressing choices and said that things did not look good for the governance of the Solomons.

The official was quickly brought home for his own safety after the email became public.

The Finance Department secretary, Ian Watt, has told the hearing the opinions in the email do not reflect the views of his Department.

"We do regret that this occurred, seriously regret it," he said.

"Finance is in the Solomon Islands and I think our people are widely regarded as doing a useful job there and we're strong supporters of what they're doing and we do deeply regret that this incident occurred."


Scientific whaling unsustainable, report says

By environment reporter Sarah Clarke

A report commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has raised fresh concerns about Japan's scientific whaling program.

Japanese whalers capture a minke

The Japanese whaling fleet returned to port last month with a record haul of 863 whales from the Southern Ocean.

From next year, that catch will expand to include 50 humpback and 50 fin whales.

The IFAW report, which has been written by the University of Auckland's Professor Scott Baker, says humpback whale numbers are recovering.

But it says smaller breeding populations in the Pacific, which are likely to be targeted by the Japanese, cannot sustain the scientific whaling.

"South of New Zealand and Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, these are Pacific islands where there are much smaller populations of humpback whales," Professor Baker said.

"Fiji, for example, may be the destination ... and the numbers there are vanishingly small."

Minke whales

The report also says minke whales, which are more abundant than humpbacks, should not be harvested.

Professor Baker says Japan's suggestion that there are around 750,000 minke whales is questionable.

"The evidence suggests it's maybe only a third of those numbers - that's still a large small population but that's still a very large uncertainty," he said.

Mick McIntyre, the director of IFAW, says his concern is that Japan will continue to increase its catch of humpback whales in years to come.

"The Japanese proposals continue to expand," he said.

"The issue we have is not only is it a problem that 50 whales that get killed in this program but in subsequent years they will no doubt want to increase those numbers.

"Even one whale killed out of those breeding populations would be a disaster."

Court case urged

Japan uses a loophole in the International Whaling Commission rules to undertake its whaling program, which it says is for scientific research.

The report says countries like Australia, which is leading the anti-whaling campaign, should now take their case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell says that avenue has already been explored.

"We never close off that option but I just reiterate we've looked very closely, as have New Zealand and other conservation-minded nations," he said.

"If we thought that taking legal action somewhere in a court could stop whaling, we would have done it by now.

"It's not the sort silver bullet, if it is or was we would use it."


Opposition leader critical of PM's comments

The Opposition Leader Fred Fono has described as both unchristian and immoral a statement by the Prime Minister about police personnel serving under the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had told Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer that his government wanted a full inquiry into the way Australian police Commanders handled the April 18 and 19 riots in Honiara saying they were caught with their pants down and acted negligently.

But reacting to the statement, Mr Fono accuses Mr Sogavare of being unchristian, immoral and unethical implying that the RAMSI officers were caught naked.

Mr Fono says, he is surprised Mr Sogavare chose to use those words especially after he rededicated Solomon Islands to God on the very day he took over the top political job.

Mr Fono adds that it is not a nice thing to say, after-all RAMSI police officers have ensured the return of the rule of law in Solomon Islands after nearly four years of lawlessness.

Australia has spent a lot of money on law and order and the government should appreciate it.

Mr Fono says what the government and RAMSI need is to devise a speedier deployment method to quell further disturbances.


Private View---‘RAMSI Tuesday’ Wasn’t To Do With Intelligence Failure

Editor's note: this article was written by a Mike Wheatley who was born in the Solomon Islands and became an Australian Citizen for over 30 years. It was published in the "New Matilda Magazine" yesterday. The article was forwarded to us through email by Johnmark Maefiti at the University of the South Pacific, Suva.

By: Mike Wheatley
Wednesday 24 May 2006

Supyire Proverb: ‘The stranger’s eyes are wide open, but he does not see anything’

On Tuesday, 18 April 2006, the democratically elected Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands was stoned by an angry mob on the steps of Parliament, tear gas was tossed around, a large chunk of the national capital, Honiara, was burnt to the ground, livelihoods were lost and lives seriously threatened.

How can such a thing happen on RAMSI’s watch — with the region’s pocket superpower, Australia, in charge? Where’s the stench of burning reputations to match the stench of burning Chinese stores?

There was plenty of reporting by the media, some obfuscation by the usual suspects but no detailed commentary. Instead, there were claims by senior people that it was all a big ‘surprise’ (according to Mike Keelty) or an ‘intelligence failure’ (according to Greg Sheridan) or that the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) were ‘overwhelmed by the numbers that they faced’ (according to Keelty again, and to Phil Goff).

RAMSI police outside the Honiara parliament

To apportion responsibility along these lines is to either dissemble or to fail to understand the way forward planning, readiness states, and operational responses are supposed to be approached by commanders on the ground.

Firstly, let’s get it clear that, in the Solomon Islands, there is no point asking the State for protection because the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) has been disarmed, neutered and rendered innocuous by RAMSI. As the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Solomon Islands disciplinary forces pointed out to the local businessman Sir Henry Quan when the latter was frantically trying to warn the police (one and a half hours before they happened!) about impending attacks on Chinese businesses in Honiara: '...he was sorry to hear that Chinatown would be attacked but there was nothing he could do.'

No one disputes a nation’s duty to arm itself in order to protect its citizens from internal or external threats. And if those armed by the State abuse the privilege, then they have to be disarmed — but one cannot just leave a vacuum.

It is no small thing for the disciplinary forces of any country to be disarmed, particularly by foreigners — even if one’s own government requested it, even if you as an individual member of those forces agree wholeheartedly, and even if the majority of citizens absolutely insist. It is still an admission of failure.

So the disciplinary forces of the Solomon Islands are excused from responsibility for the debacle — given that the structures, units and above all their corporate knowledge built up over more than 50 years would appear to have been tossed aside.

So who was on watch?

SBS’s Richard Davis said on Dateline on 6 April:

The Australian take over of the Solomons has been comprehensive. Like other arms of government, the Solomon Islands Police Force, don’t get much of a look in beyond the most basic of duties. RAMSI is a regional force but it has become overwhelmingly Australian. Nothing happens here in policing justice, finance or the public service that isn’t controlled by Australian officials. No one wants to mention the ‘colony’ word, but Australia has effectively adopted a country. And there’s little room in or out of parliament for anyone to challenge that arrangement.

If the ashes of Chinatown are any measure, then the police arm of RAMSI, the multinational Participating Police Force (PPF), has failed miserably in its first true operational test. The PPF, which is commanded by an Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer, is legally and morally responsible for the national security of Solomon Islands — common sense and Article 2 of the Agreement between Solomon Islands and Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga dated 24 July 2003 tells us this.

Originally, RAMSI restored security with combat power, based on a composite infantry battalion. As the situation stabilised, this force was reduced. The country was assured by RAMSI that the reduced force was sufficient for all contingencies and it would be backed up from overseas, particularly Townsville.

The Solomon Islands people took this advice on trust.

The stay behind forces were supposedly configured so that they could hold ground for a minimum ‘hold out period.’ As it turned out, backup forces from Townsville were ‘boots on the ground’ within 24 hours of the political decision to launch. In other words, they fulfilled their part of the contract with their mates on the ground and the Solomon Islands people.

Normally, operational responses can be of two general types: ‘deliberate’ or ‘quick.’ Of course, we need to acknowledge that the situation in the Solomon Islands can’t be classed as ‘normal’ while there are armed, foreign intervention forces on the ground — there may be periods of quiet but things are not ‘normal.’

A ‘deliberate response’ is pre-planned. For example, it is standard procedure for the disciplinary forces of Solomon Islands to be on alert during any national election, stepping up as Parliament is convened for the election of the PM. This may include pre-deployment of riot units before Parliament opens. No-confidence motions, contentious High Court cases, murders, rapes, swearing at another province, land disputes, football matches also go on the list of potentially volatile issues that can turn into a major threat.

And on such occasions, the Police Commissioner Fred Soaki or Moreton Seriheti his Deputy did not depend entirely on intelligence reports, they just deployed because that is what you do in Honiara — it is the intelligent thing to do.

Forces are usually deployed at Parliament House, on the approaches to Chinatown and/or other key locations on a direct route from Parliament House. Such a strategy allows one to block or deflect riotous assembly as opposed to the riskier strategy of following it into Chinatown, as one Indigenous officer noted in despair. This latter strategy is better suited to the Fire Brigade.

If forces had been pre-deployed as per usual Solomon Islands procedures and operational experience then there would not have been any surprises on ‘RAMSI Tuesday.’ One does not need specific intelligence on the day of the national soccer championships, one just knows that if a certain province is in the finals, somebody had better stump up for some riot units beforehand. Specific intelligence is not needed at the beginning of the cyclone season.

It is unbelievable that after six years of tensions this kind of pre-deployment was not done. The looting and burning of shops in Chinatown after a demonstration of some kind, is a known scenario. It has been attempted on many occasions in the past and, each time, successfully blocked by Solomon Island disciplinary forces.

At the other extreme, a ‘quick response’ encompasses situations that genuinely do come out of nowhere. In such cases, one has no choice but to respond quickly — units making snap deployments as required. But even these are pre-planned, to some degree. An event can be unexpected but should never be a surprise.

For example, in the old Guard Room at Honiara’s Rove Prison there’s a big red button that sets off a hooter. Everyone knows it means ‘a riot is on’ and every policeman within hearing sprints for the parade ground at HQ, or the nearest police station.

So, how long does one stay surprised before responses kick in? One and a half hours? Six Hours? All night, into the morning and the next afternoon?

Australian soldiers in Honiara's riot-battered Chinatown

As for the defence of being ‘overwhelmed by superior numbers,’ as claimed by the AFP’s Mick Keelty and New Zealand’s Defence Minister Phil Goff, all police forces in the end are always outnumbered by the people all of the time. That is why there are tactics, techniques, call-out procedures, training, structures like riot units, non-lethal ammunition and equipment to redress that imbalance. But you have to do what suits the local conditions, not what might work elsewhere.

Overwhelmed? After three or four hours? This smacks of being caught napping.

And where was the Infantry, the final arbiter when things get out of hand in the streets? Not seen or heard. A far cry from the glossy patter in the RAMSI section of the AusAid web site:

Following continued progress on law and order, RAMSI’s military presence has been further drawn down to around 100 soldiers. The remaining military presence will continue to play an active and visible part in the RAMSI operation, protecting and supporting the police and civilian components of RAMSI.

Perhaps the figure of 100 soldiers is wrong. Perhaps there was only a platoon of, say, 30 men. Whatever their real strength, why weren’t they immediately deployed to the meat grinder in Chinatown?

Solomon Islands policemen know how to protect the capital — they’ve done it before and the knowledge did not fall out of their pockets because of a coup, some corrupt officers or the second coming of the White man.

So, lame-duck excuses such as ‘We were surprised!’ or ‘We were overwhelmed!’ or ‘There was no intelligence!’ don’t cut the mustard.

The PPF should have protected Honiara — holding out for an absolute minimum of 24 hours, being the response time for back up from Townsville.

Their failure on ‘RAMSI Tuesday’ was not the result of a lack of intelligence. At a tactical level, the debacle was caused by a failure in leadership. At the strategic level, it was an awe-inspiring mission failure with implications for the much-vaunted regional intervention model called RAMSI.

Instead, we’ve been fed the line that all is well with RAMSI, what a marvellous success it is, what a great model for the region, so many firearms destroyed, so many criminals arrested, so many policemen arrested, so many advisers, so many dollars expended – yadda, yadda, yadda – a modern, outcomes-based version of the Vietnam era body count.

The best illustration of this line is The Australian’s triumphal editorial on 7 April at the start of the Solomon Islands elections: ‘At a time when the phrase “nation-building” prompts eye-rolling among cynics, it’s nice to see such a success story so close to home.’

Clearly, the dreadful events in Honiara on 18-19 April put the lie to such premature triumphal outbursts. If there was any eye-rolling it wasn’t among the cynics, but rather the Chinese in Honiara or our diggers, who once again had to go in at great risk and impose their will upon a fractious people.

It is not as if there has been a dearth of advice to RAMSI. Solomon Islands civil society, researchers, eminent persons from across the Pacific, academics, students, ordinary Solomon Island police officers and the think tank industry — all have produced reports. Collectively all these people must be entitled to wonder, just as George Orwell did:

What do you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?

The question therefore has to be asked: Is the AFP really up to the task? Are they the right folks to be at the forefront of these expeditionary sorties, or should they be the preserve of the military?

As former diplomat Bruce Haigh said on SBS TV’s Insight on 24 May 2005:

There’s nobody looks at the Australian Federal Police. There is no parliamentary body looking at the operations of the Australian Federal Police … My concern is, and it should be the Attorney-General’s concern, that the Australian Federal Police are actually out of control, they’re being used as fixers and they’ve been used as paratroops, they’ve had them in the Solomons, we’ve got them in New Guinea, they’re extensions of our diplomacy, we are going down a path with the Australian Federal Police which is very, very dangerous for this democracy....

If the path we are taking is dangerous for our own vibrant and healthy democracy, just how dangerous might it be for ‘busted arse, fragile democracies’ such as the Solomon Islands?

And whoever else that might be next on the list.

About the author

Mike Wheatley is a Solomon Islander by birth and an Australian citizen for over 30 years. He was Solomon Islands Assistant Commissioner (National Reconnaissance and Surveillance) from 1995 until after the coup in 2000. As such he was in command of the armed constabulary component of the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP).

He served in the Australian Regular Army, retiring as an infantry Major after 22 years service. In the 1980s he served in Uganda and he later established a reconnaissance and surveillance unit in northern Cape York and the Torres Strait islands composed almost entirely of indigenous soldiers.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Patterson Saeni challenges murder conviction

A former policeman Patteson Saeni challenged his murder conviction in the Appeals Court yesterday, describing it as “unsafe, unsatisfactory and unreliable.”
The three Appeals Court judges are considering their decision.

Saeni’s lawyer, Gabby Brown, also said witnesses who gave evidence in the original trial last year had not clearly identified her client as the person who murdered the victim, Samani Ramo at Rove prison on November 26, 2000.

Ms Brown said the evidence, at a critical point, did not “identify anybody in any way.”Lord Slim, who headed the bench, then asked Ms Brown to clarify her position.
“Are you saying it is wrong in principle to string together bits of evidence, or that the bits in this case are not good enough?” he said.“The latter, my Lord,” Ms Brown replied.She said a case could be established through a string of evidence.But that had not happened in this case.

Ms Brown said that although the events which led to the charge had occurred in 2000, it was not until late 2003 that RAMSI asked witnesses what had happened.By then, their memories could have been “contaminated” by stories about those events, that were “going round.”

In July last year, the trial judge, Mr Justice Goldsborough, found Mr Saeni guilty both of Ramo’s murder and of assaulting Colin Hagi Junior.A former MEF commander, Jimmy Lusibaea, was also found guilty of assaulting Mr Hagi.The assault occurred at the Central Police Station.The crown opposed Mr Saeni’s appeal.

Crown counsel Terry Thorpe said Mr Goldsborough had an advantage the Appeal Court judges do not have, in assessing the evidence in this case.He had seen, heard and been able to assess the credibility of each of the witnesses who gave evidence in the original trial, which lasted 8 weeks.“It is not a matter for your honours to suggest your own views of the facts.“You have to show where the trial judge was in error,” Mr Thorpe said.

News source:

SI Government to ban the "Da Vinci Code" film

Solomon Islands is to become the second country in the Pacific after Samoa to ban the use of the controversial film "Da Vinci Code".

Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare says he will be pursuing this with the churches after seeking legal advise from the Attorney General.

The film which depicts that Jesus also lived immoral life and married to Mary Magdalene and had children during his time on earth had stirred anger and opposition by many Christians in other parts of the world.

Prime Minister Sogavare says he will be rallying the support of the churches to make sure the film does not destroy peoples faith in Jesus as the saviour and the son of God.

"We profess Christian religion in the country, and that film that depicts some thoughts about this person called Jesus Christ that Christian adore as not only as a good man, but was himself God, and such a film basically undermines the very roots of Christianity in Solomon Islands."

Mr Sogavare says his action is in line with his statement immediately after his election as Prime Minister that his Government will put God first in everything it does.

He says peace, love and harmony among peoples of this nation are based on Christian teachings about the life of Jesus.

Mr Sogavare says Government will be failing its duty if it allows such film to destroy the moral fabric of society which is peace, love and harmony.

News source: SIBC Online (

Women speak about difficulties they face getting into Parliament

Two women who contested the last general elections have shared the difficulties women face in trying to get to Parliament at a recent regional workshop in the Cook Islands capital of Rarotonga.

The Pacific regional Workshop on Advancing Women's representation in Parliament last month was attended by Serah Dyer and Josephine Teakeni, who contested for the West and Central Honiara seats respectively.

Mrs Dyer who heads the Women in Leadership Desk at the National Council of Women says the workshop identified that women in the region face similar problems and difficulties when it comes to contesting an election.

She says in Melanesian societies, it is often hard for people to understand why women would want to work together with men in the highest decision making body of the land.

At the regional level, Mrs Dyer says the workshop recommended more coordination and collection of data on the socio-economic, political and legal status of women in the region.

She says the workshop also recommended support for equal participation in leadership roles for national governments to take into account.

News source: SIBC Online (

SI govt to launch its policy document today

The Grand Coalition Government for Change led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will launch its joint policy document today.

Chairman of Government Caucus, Steve Abana said yesterday that the joint policy document is an amalgamation of the positions of the different groupings in the coalition.

He said the statement reflects the position to harmonize the priority areas for the government to deal with.

Part one of the policy document consists of immediate issues that the government will pursue vigorously, while the second part consists of a general policy statement that would entail the policy direction for the government.

Mr Abana also acknowledged that there are on-going exercises that the government would have a re-look at before they can be adopted.

The next step according to the Caucus Chairman is to work out a timeframe for the implementation of the government’s policy document.

Prime Minister, Mr Sogavare will launch the joint policy document which is expected to be live broadcast by the National Broadcaster, SIBC starting at 3pm today afternoon at the King Solomon Hotel.

News source: SIBC Online (

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fono calls on govt to help looting victims

Opposition leader Fred Fono wants the government to help Solomon Islanders who fell victims to the recent rioting in Honiara.He said this after a number of victims who had lost their jobs in the looting and torching of their work places in Honiara on April 18 and 19 visited his office.

Mr Fono has been told that those with families have been finding it very difficult to feed them let alone sending their children to school.He said as these people are Solomon Islanders, the government should help those who want to return home with their repatriation expenses, adding it should also compensate them for the loss of employment, as had been the case during the ethnic tension.Meanwhile, Mr Fono commends development partners, foreign organisations, churches and business houses that had provided tangible assistance to the Chinese Association to clean up Chinatown.But he is concerned that the government has yet to offer a helping hand.

News source:

We'd die for Guus, says Viduka

Newly-installed Socceroos captain Mark Viduka says loyalty to coach Guus Hiddink will inspire players to "die for the team" at the World Cup in Germany.

"I look at football management in two parts. The first is man-management and the second is the on-the-field stuff, like tactics," Viduka said. "When it comes to man-management, I've never dealt with a person who has the type of ability to be able to get every single player, even those on the bench, to be 100 per cent willing to go out and die for the team."

Viduka's elevation to the captaincy was one of Hiddink's first moves in his campaign to break an Australian World Cup drought dating back to 1974. Now that the Socceroos are going to
Germany, Hiddink is hoping they can make an impact before he heads off to take up a lucrative two-year contract to revive Russia's international fortunes.

The Socceroos are grouped with defending champions Brazil, Japan and Croatia but the Dutchman plans to adopt a possession-based strategy and take the game to the opposition.
"This is not a team to lean back and rely on just one or two counter-attacks each half," Hiddink has explained. Hiddink believes the first group match against Asian rivals Japan in Kaiserslautern on June 12 looms as the most crucial.

"In the Japan game Australia will go for the win, but we must not lose the game," he said.
"That does not mean you must always think defensively. If you can go for a win against Japan you are half way (to qualifying for the second round)." Hiddink is also not ruling out upsetting five-time champions and tournament favourites Brazil. "When you have the spirit of this Australian team on the pitch you might have a chance to win," he said. "They never give up. They go for 90 minutes at high pace. It's very important to go for 90 minutes with a huge mental force.

"It's quite an achievement already to be in the World Cup. But I know the Australian guys are not happy just by reaching the World Cup. I think this team can surprise, but I cannot predict where it will go."

News source:

Ryder cut as Serevi draws line

Waisale Serevi has dropped the outstanding William Ryder - top try-scorer in this year's IRB Sevens series - from the Fiji side to contest the final two events in Paris and London.

Ryder was released from the team camp last week to attend his wedding on the provision that he would return on Thursday but, according to reports from Fiji, the player returned on Saturday.

"I reminded the players that this is a national team and indiscipline of this sort will no longer be tolerated," said Serevi. "I told them it's either Ryder goes or I go. He did not honour his part of the bargain.

"It was a difficult decision to make because this is the crucial leg of the series but we've got to draw the line somewhere,"

With just 10 points separating leaders Fiji from England going into the final two events of the season, Serevi's decision not only hints at a new sense of discipline permeating the game in Fiji, it also serves to underline his confidence in the whole Fiji squad, given the importance of sevens in Fiji, and of winning the series.

"It's been six years and we still haven't won the Series, we're in a really good position to do that now with just two legs left and I've picked the side which I believe will bring home the IRB Series.

"We've called in a new player Orisi Sareki because he's been training really well and we wanted someone with real pace on the outside, and he provides us with that option."

Source: IRB (

History beckons for Crusadors

History is in the making at Jade Stadium on Saturday night. Not only will either the Crusaders or Hurricanes be crowned the inaugural Super 14 champions at the conclusion of Saturday’s final, but the Crusaders will create some history of their own if they are successful.
A win on Saturday night will give the Crusaders their 21st consecutive home victory eclipsing the previous Super rugby record set by the Blues between 1996 and 1998. The five-time champions have not been beaten at home since February 27 2004 when the Blues knocked over the red’n blacks 38-29. The 20 straight wins to date includes two victories at alternate home venues from Christchurch’s Jade Stadium – one in Nelson and one in Timaru.

The Crusaders’ previous best home record stood at 15 victories achieved between 2002 and 2004. Despite this remarkable run of home victories, Saturday’s final will be only the third Super rugby final to be hosted by the Crusaders – the other two being 2002 and last year. It will however be the Crusaders’ eighth appearance in a Super rugby final and their fifth consecutive final. They will be chasing their sixth Super rugby title from the 11 years of Super 12 and 14 competitions.

The Crusaders’ current home winning run:
Beat Highlanders 46-29
Beat Brumbies 47-28
Beat Bulls 40-21
Beat Stormers 24-9
Beat Stormers (semifinal) 27-16

Beat Chiefs 50-18
Beat Reds in Nelson 59-24
Beat Cats 40-36
Beat Sharks 77-34
Beat Hurricanes 40-20
Beat Hurricanes (semi) 47-7
Beat Waratahs (final) 35-25

Beat Highlanders 38-15
Beat Sharks in Timaru 22-20
Beat Blues 39-10
Beat Cats 43-15
Beat Waratahs 17-11
Beat Cheetahs 53-17
Beat Brumbies 33-3
Beat Bulls (semi) 35-15

News source:,111,html

Eriksson positive about Rooney's World Cup chances


WATFORD, England (AP) -- England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said yesterday he was "very positive" that Wayne Rooney would be ready to play at the World Cup. Eriksson even hinted Rooney might be able to go in England's opening game against Paraguay on June 10. He said he'd know more after the Manchester United striker had another scan Thursday on his broken foot.

"I've always been very positive -- maybe more with my heart than with my head -- and I'm quite sure Wayne Rooney will at some stage during the World Cup be ready," Eriksson said. "I strongly believe that, but on Friday we will know much better."

England team doctor Leif Sward said Rooney was making a "perfect recovery." Rooney broke a bone in his right foot April 29 while playing for United. The 20-year-old Rooney has been riding a bicycle and spending time in an oxygen chamber to speed up recovery, but hasn't kicked a ball yet.

"He is not allowed to do that or anything else that could make his foot worse before Thursday's examination," Sward told The Sun newspaper in Monday's editions. "But he can put pressure on his foot now with the special protection he is wearing." Eriksson said Rooney was working "very, very hard doing everything possible" to recover. "He thinks he'll be OK," Eriksson said.

England plays a 'B' international Thursday against Belarus and Eriksson said he would start Michael Owen and Peter Crouch up front and give 17-year-old rookie Theo Walcott a run later in the game. Owen has only played 30 minutes this year after breaking a bone in his foot Dec. 31. The Newcastle striker has said he's fully fit, despite the lack of match practice.

England plays Hungary and Jamaica in its final two World Cup tuneups in Manchester next week before traveling to Germany on June 4. Its other World Cup group games are against Trinidad and Tobago on June 15 and Sweden on June 20.


Government launches national rural rice development programme

Rice development in Solomon Islands takes another step forward, thanks to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its continuous assistance in providing technical and financial support.
Development of rice in Solomon Islands will now be commercialized in an effort to reduce rice import bills.

The new Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Trevor Olavae, said during the launching of the National Rice Development Programme today that rice development programme in Solomon Islands wouldl aim at addressing food security through sustainable production for domestic consumption.

Hon. Olavae said: “The Government of the Republic of China continuously providing much needed support in terms of technical expertise and finance, as well as working closely with the Department of Agriculture in many areas related to agriculture development in the country.”
He said rice has now become a staple food. This, he said, reflected in the country import of rice which stood at almost $80 million in 2004.

“The similar scenario will continue in proportion to population increase and population eating habit in 2006. “For a small country like Solomon Islands with a narrow economic base, such a huge outflow of funds from the country is certainly will have a negative impact on the country’s external reserves,” the minister said.

He said given this current scenario one option is to reduce import bills of rice in order to be self-sufficient in domestic rice production.

He continued: “It is on this basis that the government of Solomon Islands has injected $5.2 million in 2005/2006 to assist the Rural Rice Development Programme.”
He said to really substitute the national rice import, the country would require a total of more than 5,000 hectares of rice.

“It is my Department’s long objectives that we can contribute towards reducing this alarming figure between 50 to 65% of rice import. “This programme will address this strategy,” Minister Olavae said.

The minister further said that he would like to see the involvement of the rural population as partners in his departmental approach.

“I would like to see many rural communities involve in rural development as this programme has demonstrated today."

Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Edward Kingmele said smallholder rice development was not so successful so the government is embarking on commercial rice development. He said the programme will start of with 10 projects. Each project must develop a minimum of 10 hectares, he said. After the successful establishment of the first 10 projects, another 10 projects would be developed.

National Rice Coordinator, Mr Mariano Lauga said the 10 projects where selected from existing projects. He said it would take more time to work with new groups if new projects were selected. He said the ten existing projects have ongoing work programmes and are familiar with rice cultivation.

Spokesman for the farmers, Connelly Sandakabatu, Principal of St. Joseph’s Tenaru Secondary School said growing rice is a foreign activity “but we have to grow it.” He said: “We have land and manpower but lack the technicality of growing this crop and such things as chemicals, equipment and capital.”

The Department of Agriculture and Livestock involved in assisting farmers through financial and technical assistance from the government of the Republic of China, Taiwan. Previously, assistance was given to smallholders with 5 hectares per project. The Department realized that in order to really address food security, the next step would be to go commercial. Each project would receive financial assistance for labour, tool and equipment to the value of about $300,000.00.

By Alfred Maesulia

News source:

Solomons PM defends appointing jailed MPs to Cabinet

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has rejected criticism over naming two jailed MPs to his cabinet, saying the courts would handle the matter.

Australia, New Zealand and the European Union (EU) have condemned the appointments of Charles Dausebea and Nelson Ne'e, who have been denied bail after their arrest following riots that rocked Honiara last month.

The unrest, which saw much of the capital's Chinatown district destroyed, led to the resignation of prime minister Snyder Rini after just eight days in office and the election of Mr Sogavare to replace him.

The European Union "strongly encourages the formation of a government composed of ministers beyond reproach," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said in a message to Mr Sogavare.

A statement released by Mr Sogavare's office says the Government "recognises the implications of the issues surrounding the appointments" and remains committed to good governance.

The fate of Mr Dausebea, named as Minister of Police and National Security, and Mr Ne'e, the new Culture Minister, was being left for the courts to decide, the statement said.

Mr Sogavare has already appointed two acting ministers to handle their portfolios.


News source:

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sogavare accuses Downer of bullying

By Lloyd Jones in Honiara
May 21, 2006

The new Solomon Islands Prime Minister has accused foreign minister Alexander Downer of bullying tactics over the future of the Australian-led regional assistance mission in the troubled nation.

Manasseh Sogavare also wants a full inquiry into the way Australian police commanders handled the April 18-19 riots in the capital Honiara, saying they were "caught with their pants down" and acted negligently.

Mr Sogavare discussed the future of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) with Mr Downer and New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters when they visited the capital Honiara on Friday.

A key issue was Mr Sogavare's flagged plans to replace RAMSI officials in key government departments such as finance and treasury with Solomon Islanders.

On Saturday, Downer told Solomons radio listeners that RAMSI would leave if it was blocked from doing its full job which included restructuring the civil service to ensure proper services were delivered to ordinary Solomon Islanders.

"There's been a lot of corruption going on here for a long, long time and it's been wrecking the country and it's got to stop," Mr Downer said.

"We offer a comprehensive package to the Solomon Islands and we hope the new Government will continue to accept and want that package."

But Mr Sogavare said yesterday such tactics were unnecessary and differences could be worked through.

"I think that's a bit of a bully tactic. At some point in time we need to take over from expatriates in all these posts," he said.

"As long as we can see a clear program of transferring this knowledge and know-how to Solomon Islanders, even if that process will take 10 years, that's alright.

Sogavare said if RAMSI left, things would return to chaos.

"The whole system would collapse, there would be no law and order, we fully appreciate that."

But he slammed RAMSI police commanders and Solomons Police Commissioner, Australian Shane Castles, over their handling of the riots which broke out after the election by MPs of short-lived prime minister Snyder Rini.

"It stinks. They were caught with their pants down. There was no preparation whatsoever. It was total negligence."

News source: The Daily Telegraph @

Downer has no time for crook Politicians

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Alexander Downer says “he has no time for crook politicians in Solomon Islands”.

Addressing guests at a reception hosted by Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Patteson Oti in Honiara on friday night, Mr Downer expressed discomfort over the level of alleged corruptive practices that are endemic among certain politicians in the country.

He said Solomon Islanders are generally good and honest people but there are also some bad guys within the good population.

Mr Downer made reference to some leaders who were stirring the troubles that wrecked Solomon Islands in the last five years without naming them.

“I have no time for them,” he said.

He said one of the aims of RAMSI is to assist Solomon Islanders to extinguish corruption from this land once and for all.

“We don’t want to see people getting rich illicitly,” he warned.

Mr Downer left Honiara on Saturday after a public meeting with members of the Civil Society Network in Honiara.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Winston Peters assures Solomon Islanders his country will ensure people here reap the gains from the Regional Assistance Mission.

He said RAMSI is a regional initiative and New Zealand remains committed to ensure the mission achieved its purpose here.

Mr Peters, who accompanied his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer on a joint visit to Solomon Islands met with Prime Minister Hon.Manasseh Sogavare and Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Patteson Oti on Friday.

Among issues talked about were corruption and the presence of RAMSI in Solomon Islands.

Mr Peters said the success of RAMSI is a pride for the whole Pacific region.

“If we succeed, we are all uplifting the great pacific theatre,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said corrupt people should not be allowed to destruct the resources of this country and New Zealand is committed to help Solomon Islands on that.

“We don’t want to see people with different objectives here,” he said; “Your resources are for you.

“We don’t want to start promising people building bridges where there is no river,” he said.

Mr Peters visited Malaita on Saturday and travels to Western Province yesterday. He is expected to hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare on today before leaving for Port Moresby.


George Herming
Government Communications Officer

OFC Finals---Auckland FC to represent the Oceania Region in Tokyo

Auckland City hit the jackpot yesterday when they beat Tahitian champions AS Pirae 3-1 to win the lucrative Oceania Club Championship at North Harbour Stadium.

With the match being on a Sunday, the Tahitians had three of their squad, including skipper Naea Bennett, unavailable for religious reasons.

Victory was worth $US1 million ($NZ1.6 million), with Auckland and their players splitting 60 percent of the windfall between them.

Auckland will also head to Japan in December for the FIFA Club World Cup where they will play a first-round eliminator against the Japanese J-League champions, with the winners progressing into the main draw.

Pirae, who eliminated City from last year's tournament, had conceded just three goals in four games before the final, but found themselves 0-2 down by halftime.

They had their share of half chances in an even opening, particularly when striker Desmond Faauiaso came close with a crisply struck drive from 25m.

But Jordan swung the game City's way in the 24th minute. A freekick from skipper Neil Sykes was met sweetly by the South African, whose header gave goalkeeper Jonathon Torohia no chance.

Pirae had a great opportunity to equalise when striker Jose Hmae beat the offside trap, but he couldn't find the net when one-on-one with goalkeeper Ross Nicholson.

Five minutes before the break, Auckland pulled further ahead. Graham Little's ball into the box was headed down by Grant Young to Jordan, whose first shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. But Jordan was quickest to react and he made no mistake with his second bite.

He completed his hat-trick from the penalty box after he was brought down by Torohia in the 63rd minute. Pirae kept battling to the end and Faauiaso scored a consolation goal with seven minutes remaining with a nicely struck left-foot shot inside the box.

The result means Auckland City and the club's players will share 60 percent of the prizemoney, while the seven other NZFC franchises receive 30 percent.

The remaining 10 percent will be reinvested into the game by New Zealand Soccer.

Auckland coach Allan Jones, guiding the franchise for the last time before taking over as coach of the New Zealand women's team, said winning the final was the culmination of three years' work.

During that time, City had won the first two NZFC titles, but the Oceania club crown was ``the ultimate of what it's about''. "From a coach's point of view, we're quite satisfied with the work we've done,'' he said.

"But all credit to the players tonight. It was a huge team performance. Nobody stepped down. Everybody stepped right up.'' Jones particularly praised midfielder Matt Cunneen, who was given a brief to keep a tight rein on the talented Jose Hmae.

"He had the hardest job to do tonight,'' he said. "He had a man-to-man job on Hmae, who is probably the most technical player in Oceania at the moment, and he was quite outstanding.''

Jones also described Young's contribution throughout the entire tournament as ``first-class''.


A hat-trick to livewire Solomon Islands striker Benjamin Totori yesterday helped Manawatu to a 4-0 win over Fijian club Eagles United in the playoff for third.

However, Totori might have doubled his personal tally at the outer oval at North Harbour Stadium.

He spurned three good early chances and then had a late shot deflected on to the woodwork by goalkeeper Sinione Tamanisau.

Fellow Solomon Islands international Alick Maemae added a fourth for Manawatu with a tidy finish from an acute angle.

Maemae had minutes earlier hit a screamer from 30m on to the crossbar.

Having squandered his early opportunities, Totori finally got on the scoreboard after 30 minutes, putting away a square ball from Maemae.

He grabbed his second early in the second half, when fellow striker Campbell Banks' effort rebounded to him.

He tucked away his third, turning in a knockback by Sanjay Singh, despite heavy attention in the box.

Manawatu's pace and interpassing constantly troubled Eagles United, who were reduced to shots from long range.

Eagles' best chance came late in the game, when a through ball by skipper Viliame Toma found Thomas Qoro one-on-one with goalkeeper Jordan Buchanan, but he couldn't finish.

News source:

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Solomons mission in for long haul, Downer says

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomons Islands (RAMSI) is long-term, after talks with his New Zealand counterpart and the Solomons Prime Minister in Honiara.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has expressed a desire to rein in some of the mission's control in areas such as finance and has called for an exit strategy.

Mr Downer and his New Zealand counterpart, Winston Peters, have told Mr Sogavare the mission will continue as long as it is able to help the development of the impoverished state.

"I am satisfied, following discussions with my colleague and the Prime Minister, that the Solomon Islands government is not planning to dilute RAMSI's integrity," Mr Downer said.

Mr Peters says he welcomes a review of RAMSI but would be worried if any attempt is made to weaken its stabilising influence.

"If you strip it of its purpose, we cannot justify its presence here," he said.

Long way to go

Mr Downer said before the meeting that RAMSI was not seen as a permanent solution but had a long way to go to complete its objectives.

"Recent unrest underlines the urgent need for Solomon Islands to focus on improving good governance, eliminating corruption, generating economic opportunity for young people and building peace and reconciliation," he said.

RAMSI landed in 2003 to restore stability on the islands following years of unrest.

It was reinforced last month when riots erupted when the unpopular Snyder Rini was elected prime minister.

Mr Rini resigned eight days later and Mr Sogavare was declared the new Solomon Islands leader following a secret ballot by MPs.

Mr Downer and Mr Peters will also meet Solomons opposition leader Fred Fono and representatives of Solomon Islands civil society while in Honiara.

News source: ABC Online

SI PM satisfied with diplomatic discussions

Solomon Islands Prime minister Manasseh Sogavare held cordial and frank discussions with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Australia and New Zealand Alexander Downer and Winston Peters in Honiara yesterday.

Prime minister Mr Sogavare says the discussions centred around issues of common concern between the three countries and to further strengthen the good relationship between them.

Mr Sogavare says he was satisfied with yesterday's discussions.

Australian Foreign minister Alexander Downer confirms Australia's support to RAMSI and expressed gratitude that the government is willing to continue to have RAMSI in the country as long as the people and Parliament of Solomon Islands want it.

With regards to ministers in police custody, Mr Sogavare says the issue was discussed and had assured the foreign ministers that the government is taking relevant steps.

This include the appointment of caretaker ministers.

Mr Downer says Australia welcomes the first step in appointing acting ministers.

News source: SIBC @

Super 14 News---Referee riles beaten Tahs

By Ben Kimber in Wellington
Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hurricanes 16 Waratahs 14

The Waratahs were left mystified and fuming in Wellington last night after two crucial decisions from bogy referee Jonathan Kaplan went against the visitors, ensuring the NSW season ended in controversy at the hands of the Hurricanes in their semi-final.

NSW were most riled by the South African referee's call in the dying minutes of the game, after NSW had ground their way to the lead, which penalised the NSW scrum on their own feed. The ensuing penalty from 50m proved the match-winner for the Canes.

NSW officials are adamant that one of their sideline runners heard the touch judge calling "yellow bringing it down" to Kaplan, suggesting the Hurricanes were at fault, only for Kaplan to either disagree or not hear, and penalise NSW tight-head Al Baxter.

While Baxter was left mystified, Hurricanes pivot Jimmy Gopperth stepped up to hammer the final nail into the NSW coffin.

"I have no idea [how that penalty was called]," Baxter said, noting that is body was straight and his opposite number's awry when getting up from the ground. "Our ball, middle of the field, I just do not see how it happened. I don't think he was sympathetic to us."

Baxter was also puzzled by an earlier scrum call on the NSW feed, which led to a tight-head win for the Canes' and a try in the ensuing play to winger Lome Fa'atau. Both Baxter and coach Ewen McKenzie said it was Kaplan who raised the issue of the Hurricanes scrum pulling back before engaging, and were shocked because they believe that was exactly what the Canes pack had done.

McKenzie was clearly gutted by another loss under Kaplan, which ensured the run now stretches to 14 losses from 15 matches, but said he believed complaining would be pointless after previous remonstrations proved a waste of time.

"Mystery, [that call] goes into the mystery vault, no idea," McKenzie said before elaborating on the persistent problems his team has with Kaplan. "I'm surprised, but not surprised, put it that way. I'll do my post match review but nothing ever changes."

While the Kaplan rulings were crucial, Baxter and a number of Waratahs figures concede they were beaten by a better side on the night, despite the fact some players are believed to have made allegations of eye-gouging by the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes, who will play their first final against the winners of tonight's match between the Bulls and Crusaders, were on top in almost every facet of the game - their strong display in the pack being the key. What surprised was that the Waratahs managed to remain a chance until the end.

A third straight loss for the Waratahs meant the final game for veteran captain Chris Whitaker, replaced in the 59th minute of his 118th match for NSW, was a forgettable one.

Whitaker, too, had his problems with the referee, being marched 10 metres early in the game after he found Kaplan didn't like the way he queried a call, but ever the statesman, the Leinster-bound halfback echoed Baxter in saying the match was still lost elsewhere.

"Obviously the results speak for themselves [under Kaplan]," Whitaker said. "For some reason, I can't put my finger on it, but we struggle under Jonathan, but I suppose that's the way it is. You struggle with some teams, some refs and some grounds, we haven't won here before so you could make that a factor. You can't put the whole thing on the ref."

The only high point for NSW was the form of winger Lote Tuqiri, who almost single-handedly dragged his side into the match early on with a bust setting up Peter Hewat's try, but even he had his down moments.

As the match ticked away, Tuqiri attempted a drop-goal winner, believing he had the advantage on his side, only for the kick to miss and the Hurricanes to hang on to the ball.

While NSW may have ended their season on a losing streak, McKenzie hoped that the year would not be remembered that way and that Wallabies selection would still favour the top-finishing Australian side.

Meanwhile, Crusadors will play the Bulls tonight at 7.35pm in Christchurch to determine the other finalist that will play Hurricanes next weekend.

News source:

OFC-Finalists found at OFC Club Champs


Auckland City will meet AS Pirae in Sunday's US$1 million Oceania Club Championship final after the Tahitians dashed YoungHeart Manawatu's hopes of making it an all Kiwi decider.

City romped into the FIFA Club World Cup qualifying final with a 9-1 demolition of Fiji's Eagles United on Friday but Manawatu were pipped 2-1 by Pirae in a thrilling second semifinal at North Harbour Stadium.

Manawatu were stunned when skilful frontrunner Jose Hmae gave Pirae the lead after just 32 seconds by tapping in a beautifully worked move by the Tahitians.

Pirae captain Naea Bennett lay on the final pass for Hmea before doubling the Tahitian champion's advantage in the eighth minute when he coolly rounded advancing Manawatu goalkeeper Hayden Englefield to stab into an empty net after being put clear by Teva Zaveroni.

Pirae were beating Manawatu at their own slick inter-passing game with Bennett, Hmae and Desmond Faauiaso in the thick of their best moves. Only two fine saves from Englefield and some sloppy finishing prevented Pirae from going to halftime with a greater advantage.

Solomon Islands winger Benjamin Totori gave Manawatu heart when he shrugged off a shirt clinging defender to blast past advancing Pirae goalkeeper Jonathan Torohia.

Torohia would have the last laugh however, pulling off a string of world-class saves to leave Manawatu heartbroken. The Pirae custodian saved his best effort until the 90th minute when he flung himself sideways to tip a powerful Boyens header from a corner over the bar.

Manawatu coach Colin Tuaa could only rue his side's slow start afterwards.

"We had opportunities there in the end but obviously our poor start cost us the game...we're pretty gutted," Tuaa said.

"We were just at sixes and sevens in the first 10 minutes and you can't do that at this level in a game as important as this."

Tuaa believes Auckland can provide Manawatu with a not insignificant monetary consolation in Sunday's final providing they press Pirae defensively.

A 30 percent slice of the tournament's US$1 million payday will be shared between the seven other New Zealand Football Championships franchises if Auckland win. A further 60 percent would be spilt equally between Auckland's players and the club with the remaining 10 percent to be reinvested into the game by New Zealand Soccer.

"Auckland have got to do a job for NZ Soccer now which I'm sure they will. Pirae are technically very good but you've just got to get into their faces early on which is what we didn't do," Tuaa said.


Auckland City waltzed into the final with a 9-1 demolition of 10-man Eagles United but the lop-sided score-line concealed the initial difficultly they have in overpowering the Fijian champions.

Eagles even took a 17 minute lead when Malakai Tiwa rifled a 25m daisy-cutter past wrong-footed Auckland goalkeeper Ross Nicholson.

Captain Neil Sykes came to Auckland's rescue 20 minutes later with an equaliser when South African marksman Keryn Jordan unselfishly stepped over a great cross from countryman Grant Young to leave Sykes open.

Midfielder Paul Seaman then broke Eagles spirit with a 52nd minute goal after more outstanding lead up work from Young who would be rewarded with two goals in as many minutes just after the hour.

Substitute Graham Little capped off Auckland's dominance with a late double after Eagles had Samuela Vula red-carded for an off the ball incident in the 64th minute.

"It was tough in the first half because they knock you off the requires huge patience to play that sort of team," Auckland coach Allan Jones said afterwards.

"But once we got to 2-1 it was all over because we were always going to hold our discipline and knew they wouldn't."

Jones is "confident" heading into the final, particularly after Auckland made the most of their unexpected shooting practice following their inability to convert chances earlier in the tournament.

Pirae will be without influential captain Naea Bennett's for the 5pm final as his Mormon values means he does not play on Sundays.

News source: Oceania Football (

Friday, May 19, 2006

Auckland waltz into OFC Finals

Auckland City have waltz into Sunday's $US1 million Oceania Club Championship final with a 9-1 demolition of Fiji's Eagles United.

The NZFC champions came from a goal down to score eight unanswered second half goals in the last 38 minutes of their semifinal on North Harbour Stadium's outer oval. South African marksman Grant Young and Scottish striker Graham Little lead the way for Auckland with two goals apiece while midfielder Paul Seaman scored the all-important game-breaker in the 52nd minute after captain Neil Sykes had equalised in the 37th minute. YoungHeart Manawatu meet Tahiti's AS Pirae in tonight's second semifinal at 6pm.

OCEANIA CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS – SEMIFINALS Auckland City 9 (Neil Sykes 37, Paul Seaman 52, Keryn Jordan 55, Grant Young 61, 62; Jason Hayne 68, Che Bunce 84, Graham Little 89, 90+) Eagles United 1 (Malakai Tiwa). Halftime: 1-1.
YoungHeart Manawatu v AS Pirae, Kickoff: 6pm, North Harbour Stadium.

News source:

Downer welcomes Solomons ministry proposal

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer has welcomed suggestions that an acting police minister may be appointed in the Solomon Islands.

The Minister already appointed to the post is in jail, facing charges over the riots in the Solomon Islands last month.

But Mr Downer says the country's Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, may soon appoint an acting police minister and he welcomes that move. Mr Downer is travelling to the Solomon Islands today to meet with Mr Sogavare.

He says the Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI) will continue until both countries agree it is no longer needed. "We're happy to leave as soon as we possibly can and of course we will have to leave if the Solomon Islands doesn't want us to stay because it's their country," he said.

"That's an important point to emphasise, it's there to help them, not there to colonise them or to control them."

News source:

Honiara schools soccer competition intensifies

By Francis Pituvaka

Secondary schools in the city are engaged in intense rivalry this week to determine which of them gets the ticket to represent the city in the European Union's Unity through Sport soccer finals next month.

Honiara High Schools Godwin Bebeu (L) tries to go past Hardis Aegari of Panatina School. Panatina won 1-0. Picture: Courtesy SIFF Media.

Unlike previous school competitions, there is no outright favorite in this particular one with all schools displaying marked improvement especially in the senior boys' category. Honiara High School which has most capped youth players went down disappointingly to Panatina in their opening match early this week by a goal to nil.

King George Senior boys also fall victim to Panatina at Lawson Tama grounds by the same goal line on Wednesday this week. Honiara Football Association General Secretary Chris Nieng spoke highly of the competition when asked to comment. He describes the competition as very competitive with a lot of skilful and talented players. Nieng says they have identified a couple of players to be in their training squad to represent Honiara in the Solomon Games which Makira Ulawa province will host in June.

Meanwhile, preparations are well underway in Honiara as the city braces itself to host more than 700 players and officials for the finals of the Unity through Sports competition. State-run King George VI School will be the Games Village for the competition. SIFF anticipates that all the provincial football associations including Honiara will be represented.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

SI Under 12 Soccer training squad trimmed

The national Under 12 training squad has been trimmed following a number of trial matches held last week at the national soccer academy.
Caretaker coach Victor Wai'ia admits it was not easy to select the 20 plus kids because all of them are good.
He says the trial matches helped him to pick out his best and he would now concentrate his effort in shaping a well-balanced team when training resumes this week.
Meanwhile, the squad had its first training yesterday at the national soccer academy.Those in the squad:
1. Philip Tome
2. Allen Samani
3. Freddy Pitaqae
4. Jamie Molea
5. Willie Witch
6. Charles Ashley Jnr
7. Keith Ashley
8. Jerence Kaomara
9. Chris Mae
10. Ashley Vasula
11. Alex Waimora
12. Scott Wata
13. Shayne Keru
14. Sean Lakoa
15. Isaac Kativerata
16. Ama Wickham
17. Willie Doedoke
18. Trewyn Qori
19. Ben Selo
20. Ben Akao
21. George Abana
22. David Suri
23. Junior Fa'arodo
24. Junior Apani
25. Solo Vara Kuki
26. Dudley Natei Jnr
27. John Kalu
28. Junior Maenuu
29. Desmond Hou
30. Collin Suri


Government improves flow of information to rural areas

The Government is to take another step forward to improve the flow of information from Honiara to the rural communities in the country and vice-versa when it signs a Memorandum of Understanding tomorrow with the People First Network (PFNet) for the use of its rural email stations to send a weekly news bulletin.

Under the MOU, the PFNet will allow its more than 20 rural email stations scattered around the country to disseminate a weekly news bulletin from the Government Communications Unit in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Ten copies of the news bulletin will be printed free with five copies posted at strategic positions within the village where the email station is located and five other copies to nearby villages.

Villagers will also be able to comment on the news bulletin which will be sent back to the Government Communications Unit by the rural email stations free of charge.

“The Government hopes that this initiative will compliment the information that is being broadcast over the radio and printed in the private newspapers,” Mr Alfred Maesulia, Director of the Government Communications Unit said.

“Our rural people will also have the chance to put their views forward on what the government is doing, thereby providing the two way communication between the government and its people.”

The initiative will be reviewed after three months to see if it could be improved further.

“I strongly believe that this initiative will greatly empower our rural people through knowing what is happening within the Government and give the chance for them to submit their feedback to the government,” Mr Maesulia said.

The initiative is being funded for about $40,000 for the next six months under the RAMSI Machinery of Government Program.

Mr Maesulia said: “The Government would like to thank RAMSI, the management of PFNet and all the rural email station committees for agreeing to cooperate to implement this initiative.

News souce: Government Communications Unit (

Taiwan released RCDF Funding yesterday

Ambassador of Republic of China or Taiwan, Antonio Chen, has formally released the first quarterly payment of the Rural Constituency Development Fund, RCDF, during his meeting with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday.

Mr Chen says the RCDF is to help Solomon Islands Rural Development and Taiwan has contributed enormously to this cause.

He says even though RCDF draws some criticism, it is the only fund which goes down to the core of rural areas, and helps those 85 percent of the national population in the country.

Mr Chen says RCDF is Taiwan’s assistance to Solomon Islands, with a total of 20 million dollars per annum.

He says it is equally distributed to 50 Constituencies to ensure the assistance will benefit the vast population in the rural areas. This means that each constituency is entitled to SBD$400,000 per annum with equal quarterly payments of SBD$100,000.

Ambassador Chen told the Prime Minister that Taiwan Government has responded to the request for the release of the fund in record time.

He says the Embassy received the government request last Friday, and it has been approved and released today because we understand the fund would help the social stability.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare thanks the Taiwan Government and the Embassy of Republic of China in Honiara for the prompt response.

News source: SIBC

Government to encourage Solomon Islanders in Development

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has said that his government will look into the involvement of Solomon Islanders in the development of the country.

Speaking in the recent Parliament meeting, Mr Sogavare said the marginalisation of Solomon Islanders in participating fully in development is a product of a whole lot of issues.

"They range from inappropriate development strategies of successive governments, which failed to recognise potentials of Solomon Islanders to meaningfully participate in economic development, to the restrictions imposed on the availability of financial resources by foreign banks established in Solomon Islands, which are clearly biased to the non-indigenous."

The Prime Minister said there have been many cases where request for additional financial assistance by Solomon Islanders were refused for no good reasons other than the fact that they are indigenous.

Mr Sogavare said this had been the attitude by banks so far, adding the excuses by the banks was the absence of bankable projects.

But he said in those instances Solomon Islanders who had applied for additional funds have proven themselves in business.

News source: SIBC Online (

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Decentralisation: a solution to past unrests

Editor's note: We support the new government in aiming to decentralise. However, this was said before but never materialised. Whether decentralising to Provinces or States, the devolution of functions, powers and resources must go hand in hand. In the past this did not happen, so the decentralising never really worked well. There must be very clear plans of demarcation as to who does what, and who is responsible for what.

By Chris Leua

The government is looking seriously at addressing the causes of the past unrests, as one of the priorities contained in the government’s Development Strategies that is expected to be made public very soon.

In his concluding remarks before the adjournment of the motion of sine die on Friday, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told Parliament that the Grand Coalition Government would be putting out to the public a Coalition Joint Development Strategies.

“A more detailed joint position of the Grand Coalition will be put out to the public soon. We are intending to do that as soon as we settle down and get the ministries to work and clear in where we are going,” Mr Sogavare said.

Mr Sogavare pointed out that grievances held by even a minority group can cause persistent setbacks to development in the country, citing the recent unrest in Honiara and the ethnic turmoil of the past years as a testamony to that fact. He said only a minority of the population brought the country to its knees in 2000 and only a minority group did it again on Tuesday 18 April. He said development strategies and policies so far have been formulated minus the concerns for the reason why the country collapsed in year 2000.

“I feel this is a very important point of reference we need to look seriously at to take this country forward more constructively, and we need to take account of the reasons behind why this country collapsed in year 2000. He said such incidents in our history should be ringing bells that should drive policy makers to think more on how to address them. And what is the Grand Coalition’s position on the unrests? Mr Sogavare favours even distribution of development throughout the provinces."

“The clear message is decentralisation.”

“Get developments out to rural areas so that we disburse people out to the other development centres so that we do not put unnecessary pressures in Honiara.” He said the log of claims issued by the Guadalcanal province before the onset of the ethnic unrest has a wider implication for the country. “Although the demands are attributed to the people of Guadalcanal, they have national application. And any government cannot go wrong in terms of its development strategies to take decisions into consideration, because these are issues that should be addressed anyway in any development strategies.”

He said the reasons for the unrests highlighted three main categories of concerns against the incompatibility of the system of governance adopted since independence. Mr Sogavare cited the concerns as; a heavily centralized foreign control government, the incompatibility of inherited colonial land policy and disrespect for cultures and customs of indigenous people. He said the Grand Coalition Government is of the belief that the country cannot possibly afford to repeat this mistake again this time round and still consider ourselves normal.

“Loss of lives and destruction to important development infrastructures must stand as important reminders for the present and future governments to adopt strategies that will open up other centres in the country,” he said.

News source:

Mission Reports: Solomon Islands on Fire----A Youth Arise Meeting in North Malaita in December 2005

Seventeen years ago on the island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands my life was changed as I had an encounter with God as a fresh wave of revival broke out. This event was preceded by several days of fervent seeking after God. I had never, before then, encountered people that were so hungry to know God. Coming back to the Solomon Islands I once again was able to be refreshed as I had the privilege of joining with my Island family in worshiping our great God.

Traveling with me were two young people from Finland, Jussi Valkonen and Mikko Mertenen. We arrived in the Solomons on the 8th December and then travelled across to the Aroma Centre on the Island of Malaita to attend the Men's Arise gathering. We were able to take with us a PA system donated to the Aroma Centre by Tieri Baptist Church. The people were most encouraged to have their prayers answered with the provision from God of a PA system that was just ideal for their needs. We certainly knew that God our Father was blessing us as we encountered no obstacles in transporting such heavy equipment all the way to North Malaita. The presence of God was very tangible as we arrived at the Aroma Centre. As we gathered for worship we immeditely knew that God was doing something. Jussi tried to express it in these words:

"Praise is rising up with a native people's tribal language, as the evening darkens, from an amphitheater formed by the nature. The congregation that is gathered there works as a worship choir and the only audience are the heavens, where, perhaps, taking part is more important than listening, too. The familiar feeling rises again, from somewhere deep inside. I've come home. The man was created to worship his Creator".

We travelled back to Honiara on Sunday the 11th December and arrived in time for the opening of the Youth Arise conference. The conference went for 5 days with over 1000 young people taking part during the day and well over 2000 joining in for the evening sessions. Michael Maeliau, Milo Silata, Emmanuel Fave and myself shared in these evening sessions. On one of these evenings, just as the speaker concluded, rain began to fall. The young people gathered did not run for cover, but instead began to respond to what God was saying. This resulted in them dancing before the Lord for over an hour in the rain. Throughout this week God was doing a mighty work in the lives of these young people. On the last night the young people gathered at the rubbish dump and marched up to the parliament house. About 1000 young people took part in the march with others then joining with them at the parliament house as Jesus was declared to be the rightful King of Solomon Islands. This was a triumhal procession of King Jesus. In the Solomon Islands as well as in all the nations of the world there are many things of God that have been thrown out (ie. righteousness, justice, love, true worship of the living God etc.), and many things of evil that have been lifted up in the nation. Now is the time when Jesus is moving in the nations of the world and calling for repentence. Otherwise judgement is coming.
During the evening program a new song was presented by the young people from Malaita (about 600 had come on a specially chartered boat) calling for the gospel to move out from the ends of the earth and go to all the nations of the earth back to Jerusalem. This was a very moving time as the heart of God was so powerfully expressed by the young people. The Deep Sea Canoe vision is very much in the hearts of the young people.

It was a great blessing to fellowship with both the men and the youth of the Solomon Islands. There remains such a great hunger for God and an open responsiveness to the Holy Spirit. In December 2007 the Youth Arise conference will be at the Aroma Centre on Malaita. I pray that the Lord would be gracious to me and allow me to be back in the islands at that time. May you continue to know a burning hunger in your heart for God,

Blessings Geoff Armitage @

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