Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SIBC News Headlines...

24 January 2011

Prime Minister Danny Philip has revealed that his government is commanding the support of 24 members of parliament and that included Ngella MP, Mark Kemakeza who revoked his own resignation on Saturday.

Prime Minister Philip, however, also revealed that East Makira MP, Alfred Ghiro is yet to decide his position.

SIBC understands that Mr Ghiro decided to switch sides to opposition again- after the government had not given him a ministerial portfolio.

The Prime Minister, however, says government does not condemn the Ministers who have resigned saying government will still welcome them if they opt to return.

Prime Minister Philip also reaffirms that he doesn't want to involve in what he termed as cheap rhetoric in media.

He challenges the opposition to bring it on- on the floor of parliament during the March parliament meeting.

A political commentator in the country says the underlying cause for the government's instability is because leaders have less regard for the needs of Solomon Islanders.

 Speaking to SIBC News John Roughan says there seems to be a lot of different voices coming from leaders trying to explain recent major factors causing the current instability within the government including the bech-der-mer saga, the fining of a Taiwanese fishing vessels, and the payments made for the PNG Chancery building in Honiara. 

Dr Roughan says the resignations of ministers is a sad thing for Solomon Islanders. 

He says the political elite fail to see the country as number one but rather its resources wanted by outsiders primarily for their own interests.

"It's sad that our political elite, those who are leading the country don't seem to see the country as number one. That's the most important thing. The resources wanted by other people people and other countries, that is second to our well being as a nation." 

Dr Roughan says that if Opposition takes over government, the country's governance must be strengthened with political leaders realising that their duty is to make sure Solomon Islands becomes strong and better.

A business woman, Ruth Fera, has appealed to critics of the Danny Philip led-government to give the administration a chance to run the country.

Ms Fera says the moves taken by members of Parliament to resigned from the government and join the Opposition is premature.

She says the government has hardly settled into office, and is yet to translate it policies into programmes that it can implement but is already facing uncertainty.

Ms Fera says for MPs including Douglas Ete and Bodo Detke to cross the floor and join the Opposition is both premature and not in the interest of the stability of the country.

As a business women, she says such unstable political environment is bad bad for business and investment in the country.

She says if Ministers disagree with any government decisions they should discuss and settle them in Cabinet rather than changing sides and causing uncertainty in the country.

Meanwhile, a group calling itself "Urban Peoples" movement for stability and unity has cautioned people against unfairly criticising the government.

Interim President of the group, Henry Star Dora, says issues highlighted in the media recently have caused uncertainty, doubts and confusion in the minds of the ordinary people of the country.

Mr Dora says Solomon Islanders should let the government come up with its development programmes and put together the national budget so that the country can continue to operation in the coming financial year starting May this year.

Six witnesses have testified as the petition against Central Kwara'ae MP Jackson Fiulaua began at the High Court in Honiara.

Former Central Kwara'ae MP Fred Fono took the case against Mr Fiulaua over allegations of bribery and inducement prior to last year's national general election on August 4.

Mr Fono lost the Central Kwara'ae seat to Mr Fiulaua with more than 500 ballots.

The six witnesses including a woman told the court of varying amounts of money allegedly dished out by Mr Fiulaua and his supporters during the campaign period at different times and locations.

Thomas Apisia of Ano'asa village told the court that Mr Fiulaua gave him and his wife two-thousand dollars prior to the election on August 3, 2010.

Mr Apisia said the money was given to him to rebuild his burnt-down kitchen but he told the court that it was given at the wrong time.

Hilda Kwaiga of Siubongi village told court that she and two other women were given 50 dollars each by Mr Fiulaua during a campaign gathering at Fousadeo village.

Others have alleged that key campaign managers of Mr Fiulaua's team have given them between 50 to 100 dollars for sugar and tea prior to the Election Day.

The hearing continues at the High Court at 9:30am tomorrow.


The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for the roll-out of a rural Internet connectivity system in the country.

Dubbed PacRICs, the system will provide Internet access and access to real time information to over twenty hospitals and schools in the country.

The sites include around 21 provincial-based hospitals, rural health care centres and rural-based schools.

The system would enable local health workers and doctors to access medical information and to connect with other medical professionals in the region and the world in the course of their practice.

School students will be able to access a digital library or information database with such a rural Internet connectivity system in the course of their learning.

SPC's Director-General Dr Jimmy Rodgers-Bird says Solomon Islands is the first regional country where multiple government ministries have joined together to sign the PacRICs M-O-U.

"They've agreed by the signature to jointly support the on-going costs. And they are also by that very signature now showing a new mode....government sectors will work together with various types of resource constraints which each ministry has will be set and hopefully provide more service to the people."

The Director-General also says that S-P-C is working towards rolling out the Rural Internet Connectivity System at the first 17 sites within the next six months.

"We hope to ave all 21 centres operational in 2 months. We are putting in 280-thousand US dollars worth of equipment, and that is remaining as we speak. In fact in anticipation of this signing we have already put in orders for some of the equipment to come in. So I guess we hope that within the first six months of this year we would have at least 17 of those up and running and within the 12 months all 21."

Key ministries involved include the Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Education and Health and Medical Services.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Shanel describes the M-O-U signing with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community as a significant milestone for the country's rural-based people.

Speaking at press conference following the signing this afternoon, the Foreign Affairs Minister says PacRICs is a cheap and reliable Internet solution for the country.

Mr Shanel says a pilot PacRICs project at the Gatokae College in Western Province has already proven successful and the rural Internet connectivity will enable people in rural communities to reach out to the outside world.

The people of the Shortland Islands Constituency in the Western Province want a representative in Parliament.

The Faurau, Mono and Alu or Famoa Council of Chiefs in a statement says their people are ready to participate in a bye-election for their Constituency after the seat was left vacant following the death of their MP last year.

The statements says the Famoa Council of Chiefs has advised that the government that chiefs and people have completed reconciliation and peace ceremonies addressing election related tensions between supporters of both winning and losing candidates during last year's general election.

It says the government should now schedule to hold a bye-election for the Shortland Islands Constituency.

Meanwhile, the Famoa Council of Chiefs says before the bye-election, a team from the Electoral Commission should conduct election awareness program in all eleven villages of Fauru, Mono and Alu groups.

The Council says the election awareness is important to teach the people the process of democratically electing a peoples representative.

The Guadalcanal Province Liquor Licensing Board is meeting for the first time in nine years to consider the back log of liquor licence application.

Provincial Finance Minister Rolland Seleso says the provincial administration is taking measures to ensure the collection of all revenue from all rates, tax and licence payers before the current financial year ends on March 31st.

He cautions all property owners, business owners and other tax and rate payers to settle their dues and become good partners with the province.

Mr Seleso says that the current administration under the new government vows to step up revenue collection and will do everything in its powers to ensure everyone concerned complies with provincial regulations.


The Opposition is expected to lodge the first of its petitions to the Governor General starting this week.

Deputy Opposition Leader Matthew Wale announced the Opposition's intentions last week following the resignation of the former Fisheries Minister and former Forestry Minister.

The petition is purposely to see if NCRA still has the numbers to remain in office.


The Opposition is claiming that another eight government ministers have pledged their support for their side.

Solomon Star newspaper today quoted recently resigned Ministers Ete and Detke as saying that the eight ministers have already signed their resignation letters and will be delivering it to the Governor General tomorrow.

SIBC News understands that only a total of four government ministers have officially resigned their portfolio's.

Meanwhile, the Government House has confirmed to SIBC News this morning that so far they have only received four resignations.

MP for North west Guadalcanal Bodo Detke, and Parliament member for East Honiara Douglas Ete handed in their resignation letters to the government house on midnight Thursday while MP for North Guadalcanal Martin Sopage, and East Kwaio MP Stanley Sofu handed in theirs on Saturday morning.

SIBC News understands that intense political lobbying between the MPs which started over the weekend is still current with more MPs from the NCRA government expected to crossing the floor this week.


With the recent political developments the numbers stands at 24 on each sides of the parliament house.

Bodo Detke and Douglas Ete had tendered their resignations last week while Stanley Sofu and Martin Sopage had over the weekend tendered their resignations from the NCRA government to join the opposition.

Speaking during a press conference over the weekend Deputy Opposition Leader Mathew Wale assured local media that they are expecting more resignations.

He said they are expecting two more members of the NCRA government to cross over early this week.

Mathew Wale explained that the resignations of the ministers show clearly their lack of confidence in NCRA leadership.

The daily newspaper Solomon Star front page today has the headline "eight more to resign".


The company planning to drill for copper and gold off Papua New Guinea says it is setting a new benchmark in its environmental planning.

Radio New Zealand International reports that concerns have been raised in PNG, that the government has not done financial due diligence, or looked at the environmental impact of the project.

Nautilus Minerals has been granted the twenty year lease to develop its copper-gold project by searching for mineral deposits across almost 60 square kilometres of sea floor in the Bismarck Sea.

The CEO of Nautilus Minerals, Stephen Rogers, says it is natural for people to be worried about the impact.

No comments:

Post a Comment