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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

SI Commerce Minister sacked by PM Sogavare

Prime Minister Mannesah Sogavare has sacked the Minister for Commerce, Employment and Trade, Hon Francis Billy Hilly, for refusing to denounce the Memorandum of Understanding the National Party signed with the Communist Party of China.

Mr Hilly would be replaced by the Member of Parliament for Central Guadalcanal, Peter Shannel who would be sworn into office today.

Mr Sogavare said other members of the National Party in his Cabinet have denounced the MOU with the communist party and pledged their allegiance to his Grand Coalition Government for Change and his leadership again except for Mr Hilly.

He said he had taken a tough action against the MOU as it undermined the serious fundamental principles of human rights, democracy and freedom as advocated by the United Nations.

The Prime Minister said the National Party stepped over these fundamental principles by signing the MOU as the People’s Republic of China suppressed the rights of China to democracy, human rights and freedom.

It is understood that the People’s Republic of China opposes independence for Taiwan.

The Prime Minister said another reason for taking a tough stand against the MOU was because of Taiwan’s genuine friendship with Solomon Islands.

He said Taiwan was the only diplomatic partner that continued to help Solomon Islands during the ethnic tension.

Mr Sogavare said in Solomon Islands tradition, a friend in such time of need should never be betrayed but always be treated with respect.

He said he had given times for Mr Hilly to repent but he did not.

The Prime Minister meanwhile said he had reinstated Mr Gordon Lilo Darcy to his National Planning and Aid Coordination portfolio.

Mr Sogavare said he had sorted out his differences with Mr Darcy.

Source: Government Communications Unit


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