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

Friday, March 02, 2007

RAMSI leaders shocked by Sogavare's claims on road accidents

by Anne McCaig

RAMSI leaders yesterday rejected claims by the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare that RAMSI personnel have been involved in road accidents that have resulted in the deaths of Solomon Islanders.

RAMSI has not killed anyone and strongly denies that there is a ‘cover-up’ of any sort, a joint statement issued by all four RAMSI heads said yesterday.

RAMSI Special Coordinator, the Commander of the Participating Police Force (PPF), the Military Commander and RAMSI’s Development Coordinator said they had decided to jointly issue the statement after the Prime Minister claimed in the National Parliament last Friday that ‘a number of Solomon Islanders’ had died as a result of road accidents involving RAMSI and that these deaths had ‘gone unpunished’.

“We take such an allegation very seriously and refute in the strongest terms that any RAMSI personnel have been responsible for the deaths of any Solomon Islanders or involved in any cover-up,” the statement said.

PPF Commander, Will Jamieson said all road accidents involving RAMSI personnel are always thoroughly investigated by the Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF).

Prior to their deployment to Solomon Islands, all PPF officers who have a current drivers licence are required to undergo specialised PPF driver training program to confirm their capacity to drive safely Commander Jamieson said.

Like any other driver on the road, RAMSI personnel are required to observe the laws of Solomon Islands which require traffic accidents to be reported to the Solomon Islands Police.

In addition to this PPF officers must report all road accidents to their own command so that they can be investigated by PPF authorities he said.

“RAMSI does not tolerate misconduct by its personnel and if any evidence of any wrong-doing is found, those responsible face disciplinary action.”

All PPF vehicles also comply with all relevant Solomon Islands Government regulations for road worthiness and are registered with the Solomon Islands Department of Transport. All fees required for registration are paid by the PPF.

RAMSI’s Military Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rowan Martin said RAMSI military also had very strict and well-established procedures in place to deal with road accidents involving military vehicles.

Colonel Martin said that the military maintain a high standard of vehicle maintenance in order to ensure the safe conduct of vehicles in Solomon Islands.
RAMSI’s Development Coordinator, Blair Exell said that all RAMSI civilian personnel were required to comply with Solomon Islands traffic laws, and hold valid driver’s licenses acceptable to the Solomon Islands authorities.

“All vehicles provided to civilian RAMSI advisors are subjected to the normal inspections for road worthiness by the Department of Transport before being approved for registration.”

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George said that he was concerned that the Prime Minister had not raised his concerns directly with him.

“I would like to repeat my invitation to the Prime Minister to provide any evidence in support of any concerns he might have, in order that they might be properly investigated by the police.

“I am always willing to listen to the Prime Minister’s concerns and if any evidence is provided that any wrong doing has occurred, RAMSI won’t hesitate to cooperate with any investigation and take the appropriate action where required.”

Source: RAMSI

Copyright©2006-2010 To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD). All rights reserved