Solomon Islands

Former Solomons govt official convicted of corruption

The ruling on Friday is being hailed by local police as a significant result in the fight against corruption.

The charges relate to the embezzling of more than a million Solomon Islands dollars from 2014 to 2017 by John Murray, who was the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

This involved the ministry's use of a car rental company which Murray co-owned.

Solomons' police watching border with Bougainville

The police patrol boat, Lata, is currently in the Shortland Islands, which are very close to the south of Bougainville main island.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Gabriel Manelusi, said that the Lata is carrying specialist staff who have teamed up with local police to investigate alleged criminal activities by people crossing the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea border.

He said the officers wanted to ensure the Shortlands' communities are not undermined by any foreign nationals acting illegally.

 

     

Seven rescued from boat stuck on reef in Temotu

Local Inspector Lily Dagi said police arrived at the scene on Tuesday.

The two women and five men on board were rescued and their boat and outboard engine salvaged.

Police said another boat that had been reported missing last month with five people on board had also been found safe on Utupua Island.

Police at Lata are still searching for a second boat with four men and one child on board which went missing en route from Lata to the Reef Islands on 30 March.

     

Fiji hits back over Indonesia's place in the MSG

Speaking in the Solomons parliament Monday, Manasseh Sogavare said Fiji should apologise for bringing Indonesia into the MSG.  

He said Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama breached MSG procedure by forcing the other four full members to accept Indonesia as part of the sub-regional grouping, whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and FLNKS Kanaks movement of New Caledonia.  

Indonesia was admitted to the MSG with observer status in 2011 after Bainimarama assumed the MSG's rotational chairmanship.  

Disaster assessment underway after flash floods in Solomon Islands

The National Disaster Management Office said initial assessments in Honiara show the biggest impact has been on people living in squatter settlements.

The NDMO director Loti Yates said the torrential downpour, which continued for most of Thursday, will have negative impacts on water and sanitation, people's food gardens and pose the risk of disease outbreaks.

Mr Yates said more detailed assessments are being carried out today to ensure affected communities get the support they need to recover.

Delayed government payments frustrate Solomons businesses

The sentiment was revealed by a business confidence survey conducted by the Solomons Chamber of Commerce.

Its chief executive Dennis Meone said while the majority of respondents were optimistic about 2018, delayed payments were causing problems.

"The biggest impediment that most of our members are having is getting paid on time," he said.

Solomons plan for boat destruction

The Solomon Star reports the boat is one of three boats that were captured early last year at Rennel's Indispensable reef by the Maritime Police for illegal fishing.

The Supervising Police Commissioner said the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource was responsible for the destruction of the boat and police would assist.

The High Court ruled the three boats be destroyed and two were controversially burned at a passage near Gela, in December.

Solomons' police monitoring new cargo-cult-like group

The group called 'Kingdom' is Christianity-based but holds some controversial beliefs.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports local Christian associations do not recognise the movement with one local pastor describing it as a cargo-cult because it reportedly tells members they will receive goods and money from the US.

He said the group believes the people of Malaita are descendants of Israel and that today the ground would open up and swallow all unbelievers and houses will spring up out of the ground for the faithful to occupy and be served by white women.

International flights to Solomons' Munda airport soon

The Munda airfield, which has been developed with tens of millions of dollars of New Zealand aid over the past seven years, is close to completion.

The airport is being developed as an emergency alternate to Honiara and to try and foster tourism in Western Province.

The New Zealand high commissioner to Solomon Islands, Don Higgins, said that over the next couple of months the focus would be on installing navigational aids and ground lighting, and ensuring fire trucks and trained crew were in place.

He said once this was done, Solomon Airlines planned to fly in.

Solomons' push for children's education on healthy foods

World Health Organisation figures show one third of children in Solomon Islands are stunted due to chronic malnutrition and almost half of under five year olds are anaemic.

Ms Namohunu said children needed to learn about the effects of skipping meals and eating processed foods rather than fresh local produce.