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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sogavare tells Guadalcanal people to pursue a coordinated and united approach on bona-fide demands

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on the indigenous people of Guadalcanal to take up a coordinated and united approach to discuss matters of their concern including the twelve point bona fide demands with the national government.

Mr Sogavare made the call yesterday at the 25th anniversary of Guadalcanal Province’s 2nd Appointed Day at the Don Bosco Technical Institute on the eastern outskirts of Honiara.

He commended the Guadalcanal Premier Joash Salani and his executive for their decision to have face-to-face dialogues with the national government on issues of concern to their people and said that approach should also be taken at the community leadership level.

“There has to be a coordinated and united approach to discussing matters of concern with the government and to be frank a lot has yet to be done on this front by the people of Guadalcanal as manifested by the different positions taken by the various factions on the same issues.”

Mr Sogavare said the government needed the full cooperation and understanding of the people of Guadalcanal to effectively address their bona fide demands.

He said the demands had been the subject of discussion over the past weeks and he was disappointed at the allegation suggesting that his government was not doing enough to address the demands due to its engrossment in the Moti issue.

The Prime Minister said the allegation was unsubstantiated and hence unfair to his Grand Coalition for Change Government because it was the first government committed to attend to the demands.

He said the fact that the previous government was not pressured by the people of Guadalcanal despite doing nothing about the demands startled him.

Mr Sogavare said anybody in his right mind would be fully justified to conclude that the recent barrages of criticisms against the current government might have been motivated by other agendas.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity in addressing the Guadalcanal people yesterday to reiterate that the government’s appointment of Julian Moti as the Attorney General and Mohammed Jahir Khan as the Police Commissioner were lawfully effected.

He said he understood that certain factions in the province refused to accept the appointments due to misunderstandings.

Mr Sogavare said those misconstrues could be cleared if people cared to meet with him and on that note he gave an open invitation to the people of Guadalcanal for a meeting on the matter.

The Prime Minister also reassured the people of Guadalcanal that the government was committed to improving its relationship with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands to make the Australian-led mission effective legally and administratively.

He said the government would work through the report of the Pacific Islands Forum reviewers of RAMSI with the countries contributing to the mission in areas it believed needed improvement to further strengthen their partnership.

Nevertheless Mr Sogavare reiterated that people should not expect RAMSI to be in Solomon Islands forever and that reality must be accepted.

The Prime Minister said Solomon Islanders must learn to trust each other again if it was to move forward.

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