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

Saturday, July 29, 2006

To'abaita student appointed as USP student rep in Fiji Tourism Advisory Board

Greetings folks,

One of TARD's principal objectives is to publize and promote personal achievements that our students have attained. The anticipated outcome is that such excellence and attainment will contribute to the restoration of a good image to the North Malaita region, which has been tarnished by recent happenings as a result of criminal activities that originate from that region in the Solomon Islands. In addition, we believe that by appreciating student achievements, it would stimulate and empower students to work hard and excel in their endeavours.

Therefore, we are pleased to congratulate one of our To'abaita students and active TARD member, Mrs Joyce Konafilia Maetoloa, for her recent outstanding achievment at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. Joyce was appointed on friday by the Head of the USP Tourism Department Dr. Tracy Berno and Hospitality Lecturer Dawn Gibson, as the student representative into their management committee, which consequently led to her appointment as the USP student representative in the Fiji Tourism Advisory Board. She will attend the first Fiji Tourism Advisory Board
meeting next week Friday in Nadi.

"I see this as an opportunity to interact with the tourism industry top shots and discovering opportunities for tourism projects and developments for our part of Malaita", said Mrs Maetoloa.

Joyce is a tourism and hospitality student at the University of the South Pacific's main Laucala Campus. She is part To'abaita and Renbel and hails from the Malu'u area in North Malaita.

Friday, July 28, 2006

RAMSI supports rural livelihood initiatives in Solomon Islands

A major study into agriculture and rural livelihoods in Solomon Islands has recommended ways to improve subsistence farming and lift the living standards of villagers.

The study has identified simple and practical ways to improve farming to make an impact on the lives of thousands of people with better food security and new or sustainable cash generating activities such as crops and livestock.

Launched by the Solomon Islands Minister for Agriculture, Hon Trevor Olavae, and RAMSI Development Coordinator, Blair Exell, the Solomon Islands Smallholder Agriculture Study recognises the importance of small scale farming for the majority of Solomon Islanders.

The Study provides decision makers with information on what is happening now, and what is needed to meet the country’s future needs.

It recommends activities across all provinces, from small changes to the way things are done in village gardens, to potential cash crops and other cash generating farming.

Agriculture Minister, Hon Trevor Olavae, today said that the agriculture sector had been neglected during the tensions, but this had now changed.

“The government is focused on rural development,” Mr Olavae said.

“This study is a useful policy guide – it is very comprehensive and the detail on our situation and practical advice will be most helpful.”

On the basis of this study RAMSI is supporting a number of rural livelihoods activities:
• A market information service
• Ways to improve the production and marketing of staple root crops
• A feasibility study into different types of fruit trees
• A national road improvement program to improve access to markets
• Economic reforms that will improve prospects for villagers

RAMSI Development Coordinator, Blair Exell, said that RAMSI would support a range of further activities aiding rural development.

“These include the production and marketing of Ngali Nut and Vanilla and a program to strengthen supply chains for other rural produce,” Mr Exell said.

“The detail provided in this report will go a long way in helping policy makers work out the most effective activities to improve village livelihoods.”

The Solomon Islands Government and the World Bank, European Union and AusAID are also working together on an Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy (ARDS) to establish a medium to long-term framework to guide future investments in rural areas.

Discussions on the strategy are being conducted this week in Honiara and the provinces.

© RAMSI Public Affairs

Source: PF Net

Honiara Consumer Price Index for June 2006

The Solomon Islands' Statistics Office, Department of Finance and Treasury hereby releases the Honiara Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2006 yesterday.

The June CPI of 336.6 marks an increase of 1.8% from the May Index of 330.8. The rise was predominantly due to increases in the prices of rice, kerosene and local food, but was also offset by a slight drop in the price of betel nut.

In June, the price of a 20kg bag of rice rose on average by 8.3% to $102.93 whilst that of kerosene increased from $6.26 to $6.76 per litre. The average price of market produce also rose by 9 % mainly on account of increases in the prices of slippery cabbage which went up by 12.8% to $7.64 per kg, tomatoes (up 13.3% to $35.66 per kg) and cucumbers (up 8% to $6.53/kg). These were slightly offset by a marginal drop (0.4 cents) in the price of betel nut to result in the 1.8% rise in the index for the month.

Annual inflation, measured on a 3months moving average basis as at the end of June was 9.6% compared to 9.1% in May. The inflation rates for imported and domestically produced items were 6.0% and 10.9% respectively.

Source: Government Communication Unit

Solomon Islands High Court Commisioner is leaving soon to West Africa

By Alfred Maesulia

An officer in the Solomon Islands legal service is due to leave the country for his next assignment in Sierra Leone in West Africa.

Mr. David Chetwynd first came to Solomon Islands in 1989 and was posted to Auki in the Malaita province as magistrate.

In Honiara he was chief magistrates and Registrar of High Courts until 2004.

Mr. Chetwynd held the post of Special Project Coordinator & Commissioner of the High Court of Solomon Islands up to the end of his contract this month.

Speaking during a farewell dinner today, the Registrar of High Court Mr. Nelson Laurere, said Mr. Chetwynd had done a lot for Solomon Islands. He said the Judiciary would miss his service.

Mr. Laurere spoke of Chetwynd as a committed person who was willing to step in to assist when he was called upon.

Mr. Chetwynd in his brief comment said that expatriates working in the Solomon Islands should not treat Solomon Islanders as Natives but that Solomon Islanders were in a country of long history.

“Don’t think that you are in a city of Sydney or Melbourne,” he said.

“Many Solomon Islanders are good and honest.”

Another Solomon Islander, John Muria, is currently serving in Sierra Leone in the Judiciary service.

Source: Government Communication Unit

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sir Peter Kenilorea commends work of Red Cross

Speaker of Parliament Sir Peter Kenilorea yesterday spoke highly of the work of the Solomon Islands Red Cross Society.

Opening the organisation's General Assembly Meeting in Honiara, Sir Peter said Red Cross has always been the leader in the delivery of humanitarian services and a pacesetter for reform and innovation in the country.

Solomon Islands Red Cross was a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). ICRC was established in 1863, with a charter to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and violence and to provide them with assistance. Today Red Cross operates in more than 80 countries and is committed to alleviating human suffering. The Solomon Islands Red Cross is now into its 23 years of operations in the country.

Sir Peter said Solomon Islanders have all been recipients in one way or another of this wonderful work of Red Cross. "Thanks to the work of you and your predecessors, the quantum of human distress over the 23 years of work in the country is incalculable. "You can stand proud as a society by your many achievements throughout the years. "I am sure that, guided by your fundamental principles, you will continue to succeed," Sir Peter told local Red Cross officials and volunteers who gathered for the meeting yesterday.

He said the Red Cross society has indeed taken the initiative to step up in times of need to address all humanitarian issues as well as echoing it to the nation. "As Solomon Islands and our people recover from the sad effects of the ethnic tension and the recent so-called 'Black Tuesday', the unfailing assistance by the Red Cross became real and purposeful to those who were given some measure of help, in their time of desperate need. "When fear, confusion and frustration gripped the entire nation, your ability to provide relief and assistance gave us all hope," Sir Peter told delegates.

Sir Peter also commended Red Cross's blood bank through which, he said countless people have received the precious gift of life, while others are able to enjoy a much-improved quality of life through regular treatment. "Like all other Red Cross work, the provision of blood services has extended far beyond the war time origins of Red Cross. "This work is part of the great humanitarian endeavour that makes our society a better place which in turn makes a huge difference to the global and national social condition," Sir Peter said.

The parliament speaker said he is also encouraged that the Solomon Islands Red Cross is not standing still. "I applaud the fact you have continued to take steps to ensure that you develop the best organisational framework to meet new demands. "Important events such as this General Assembly meeting will help equip you to handle an increasing and more complex workload," he said. Sir Peter added that all organisations involved in delivering critical services to vulnerable people have an obligation to relentlessly drive for efficiencies in service delivery. "In this you face the same challenges as does our government. "We must not just be champions of high standards and advocate for those in need, we must also be pace-setters in good management practice to ensure that the highest level of resources are available to benefit people on the ground.

"I see this as the biggest challenge for our country and for the Solomon Islands Red Cross. "Keep true to your principles and your mission, be compassionate and humanitarian in your service delivery, but at the same time ensure that you are a professional, efficient, transparent and accountable organisation."

Sir Peter said Solomon Islands Red Cross is already a leader in the non-profit sector in transparency and accountability in all the work that it undertakes. "But let us seek to take the organisation to higher levels of achievement and recognition. "Never has this been as important as it is now."

Source: Solomon Star

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Patterson Oti will lead a government delegation to Taipei tomorrow

By George Tausiria

Foreign Minister Hon. Patteson Oti is leading a four-member delegation tomorrow to Taipei on the invitation of the Taiwanese Government.

The visit to take place on 27th July – 3rd August will be the eighth time Minister Oti has been to Taipei.

Other members of his delegation include, Chairman of Government Caucus, Hon. Steve Abana, Member for North Guadalcanal, Hon. Martin Sophage and Deputy Secretary to Foreign Affairs, Senda Fifi’i.

On July 31st, the Solomon Islands Foreign Minister will have an audience with Taiwan’s President Chen-Shui Bien to be followed by a meeting with his Taiwanese counterpart, Hon. James Huang.

While in Taipei, the Solomon Islands foreign minister will also visit Solomon Islands Embassy and Solomon Islands students under bilateral scholarships from the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Source: Government Communication Unit

SI Government is set to spend too much

Opposition Leader Fred Fono says the increased salaries and fringe benefits for permanent secretaries and MPs will drastically reduce government's capability to implement its widely publicised rural development plan.

In a statement Mr Fono says the increase to 91-thousand dollars a year for all permanent secretaries would cost the treasury two-point-five million dollars annually, whilst the salaries of MPs would incur about four-million a year.

He says government's decision to buy 46 brand new vehicles, 20 of which goes to government ministers and 26 to permanent secretaries for about 12-point-three-seven million dollars is pure extravagance.

Mr Fono says the opposition could not ascertain at this stage whether or not the vehicles are being purchased at concession prices.

But he says the Coalition for Change government extravagance is at the expense of social services.

Mr Fono says whilst government advocated a rural development policy focus, it has taken the opposite direction by awarding those huge salary increases.

He says with the increases, the payroll budget has increased to over 20-million dollars per year, and it's likely that inadequate funds would be left to improve health, education services and infrastructure developments.

Source: SIBC

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Solomon Islands theology student stabbed in Mount Hagen City, PNG

Submitted by Arthur Wate

A Solomon Islands student at the Christian Leadership Training Centre (CLTC) in the Western Highlands Province of PNG was stabbed in an attempted day-light robbery by armed thugs in Mount Hagen city last Friday.

Daniel Siosi, in his mid 30s, of Malaita Province, was the latest victim in the city.
Siosi was being pursued in the streets into the Christian Bookshop where he was held up with a pistol and bush knives. In the ensuing scuffle, the father of three young kids was stabbed in the abdomen. He was rushed to the Mount Hagen general hospital where he underwent an immediate operation at the theatre that lasted for eight hours.
He is in a critical, but stable condition at the surgical ward.

Siosi is a South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC) student at the college. He was sent there in 2002 and was due to graduate with a diploma in theology this year. SSEC Mission Coordinator Reverend Andrew Fanasia said yesterday church authorities were informed of the incident last Saturday.

“We were told his condition was stable. At this time, we are not doing anything practical other than just praying for his recovery. Our former president Rev Eric Takila was the vice president of CLTC so we are in touch with him in regards to Siosi’s condition. Unless anything further develops, the whole of SSEC in the Solomon Islands is praying for Daniel,” Rev. Fanasia said.

CLTC is one of the main training theological colleges for SSEC leaders and missionaries. Rev. Fanasia said the church currently has 10 students, with their families, studying at the college. Meanwhile, the administrator of the CLTC, Ezekiel Ivihi has raised serious questions about the security of the public in Mount Hagen City. Mr Ivihi branded Mount Hagen as one of the dangerous cities where lives of visitors are constantly at great risk.

“What does this signal to us? Are we in control of the lawlessness in the city? Is our law and order intact?” a clearly frustrated Mr Ivihi asked. Mr Ivihi said his institution had many students from around the Pacific and it was a shame to see such an incident where an innocent student who had no money was attacked in broad daylight. He suggested the government should do something immediately as the country was heading towards disaster from the hands of armed thugs who have no respect for other people’s properties and lives.

Early this year an Agronomist with the Fresh Produce Development Company was stabbed in the chest in another similar incident when thugs tried to grab his lap top computer near the city’s main market. The city has recently experienced a surge on daylight robberies by gangs of armed bandits.

Source: Solomon Star

Government needs to do more: Mr Batley

Special Coordinator of RAMSI, James Batley has said getting the economy moving and mobilising the participation of the population remains a key issue for government.

Mr Batley said anything less would create more problems in the future as people have expectations they want fulfilled in a given time.

Speaking to the media last week Mr Batley said the areas where RAMSI had been working in the last three years remain very important.

"We know that there has been a lot of progress, but at the same time we have to be honest, there is still a lot of challenges ahead. Economic challenges, challenges of restoring accountability in the system and rebuilding court institutions, government the police and so on.

Mr Batley says all those things remain important to RAMSI, the work in the police, the prison and the courts, re-enforcing government finances, economic reforms and re-building of the government machinery.

Source: SIBC

Melanesian countries discuss Regional Force

By Chris Leua

Melanesian countries are discussing the possibilities of assembling a regional force.

Chairman of the MSG Trade and Senior Officials Meeting, and Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Affairs Secretary, Gabriel Pepson said the sub regional force would attend to political or natural disasters that may occur within the five Melanesian countries once endorsed in next years MSG Leaders Summit in Vanuatu.

“We have been discussing the possibility of assembling and deploying regional force to attend to unforeseen circumstances, political or natural disasters that may occur within the five countries,” Mr Pepson told local journalists on Friday after the completion of the week-long Trade and Economic and Senior Officials meetings.

He said the assembling of a Melanesian regional force is an important issue being discussed at the MSG Trade and Senior Officials Meeting in Buala because he said a Melanesian regional force attending to political of natural upheavals within the five countries would be more practical and relevant.

“Comparatively, Melanesian countries setting up a regional force is something that we are keen to collaborate on because we understand each other better,” he said.

Citing the Melanesian countries as a regional political hotspot, Mr Pepson said the assembling of a Melanesian regional force would be an example of where the Melanesian Spearhead Group can contribute to stability in the Pacific region or attend to natural calamities.

Mr Pepson said discussions at the Buala meetings also focused on cooperation on the sharing of security information among the countries.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group is looking at changing its name to reflect its changing sub regional role.

“The MSG has come a long way from its initial objective of spearheading the Kanak Independence cause and now embracing wider roles. It has changed dramatically since its conception, now with more focus of economic and security cooperation,” said MSG Senior Officials Meeting Chairman, Gabriel Pepson.

He said MSG now is emerging as a great economic sub regional pact with potentials to engage in international trade negotiations.

But whilst adopting more focuses on trade and security issues, Mr Pepson has earlier said that MSG will remain active in pursuing the political aspirations, in particular the FLNKS political cause achieving complete political independence from France.

Representatives of the FLNKS did not attend the meetings in Buala.

Source: Government Communication Unit

Monday, July 24, 2006

Solomon Katukatus came fourth in OFC under-12 Soccer festival in Fiji

The Solomon Islands under-12 soccer team only managed to settle for fourth place after going down to two New Zealand club teams yesterday in Ba, Fiji.

After Saturday's impressive results, the boys topped group B ahead of favourites, New Zealand's Canterbury. Going into the semi-finals saw the games become more intense as Fiji 1 were up against Canterbury whilst Solomons were placed to play United Soccer 1 of New Zealand in the second semi-finals.

Melanesia neighbours, Fiji 1 managed to beat Canterbury by 1 goal to nil while the Solomons were narrowly beaten by the eventual winners, United Soccer 1 by 2-1. This set a strong grand final match between Fiji 1 and United Soccer 1 late yesterday afaternoon.

At the end of the tournament, United Soccer 1 of New Zealand claimed the trophy by beating Fiji 1 a goal to nil. Solomons were later beaten in the 3rd place palyoffs by Canterbury.

But all teams had a reason to celebrate at the conclusion of the inaugural OFC U-12 Festival of Football in Ba, Fiji. The four-day celebration of Oceania culture and football drew to a close yesterday with all teams in high spirits. The handshakes, hugs and pats on the back between participants were more heartfelt at the conclusion of the Festival as all teams came together in a visible display of the friendships that had been formed in Fiji. The scenes continued at the team accommodation where players swapped shirts, shorts, and whatever they could lay their hands on before an impromptu pool session.

New Zealand's United Soccer 1 who won the final match of the Festival to take the inaugural title has directly qualified for the Danone Nations Cup in France in September 2006.

The Danone Nations Cup is the major International Cup for children aged 10 to 12, giving over 2.5 million children the opportunity to take part in an international tournament and to develop their passion for football and skills in the game. The children will experience and share the emotions of an international sporting event, recognized by FIFA and the national federations, and founded on team spirit and the sense of fair play.

Despite the lucrative reward available to the winning team all participants will have lasting memories of the 2006 OFC Festival of Football.

Paficic Islands Forum Secretariat urges strong base for environmental protection

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) says deeper cooperation on regional environmental protection must be organised around a strong base.

“Such a base could be developed by merging the different agencies that deal with environmental issues/sectors and unite them behind an effective regional environmental framework such as a new Regional Environmental Protection Policy,” Peter Forau, the Forum’s Deputy Secretary General said.

Solomon Islander Mr Forau was speaking at an Informal Roundtable Discussion on “Enforceable Directives for the Protection of the Pacific Environment” in Suva, Fiji, Saturday.

He said because the issue of environmental protection “is so important at least for the island countries, it is possible that deeper regional cooperation in this particular matter can lead to regional integration in other sectors. Already the work programmes of at least five regional agencies include activities related to the environment. This suggests that the cooperation on environmental protection is spreading. However the problem is the systems for this cooperation are fragmented and there is a huge disparity between national requirements and the goals of regional directives,” Mr Forau said.

He said to be able to create a domino effect on regional-wide cooperation, deeper regional cooperation in this particular matter must be effective and inclusive.
And for this to happen environment protection priorities must top the regional agenda.

“At the present these priorities are secondary and lack the prominence to provoke broader regional cooperation in other sectors. This will need to change and perhaps a reconfiguration of the regional agenda to place environmental protection as the key priority is required. This will require new regional directives to bring it to bear.”

Mr Forau argued that if there isn’t a conscious directive to refocus the regional agenda in a way that ticks off environmental protection priorities as prominent then the lead could very well come from development partners.

“When that happens then it is possible that deeper cooperation in environmental protection could provoke integration in other sectors. At the present that is not the case, so it isn’t possible to see deeper cooperation in environmental protection provoking the same in other sectors. It could very well be that the work on the new regional architecture could come up with a system that might hasten this region-wide cooperation on environmental protection,” Mr Forau said.

Examples of Regional Directives for the Protection of the Environment include, management of Distant Fishing Nations (WFN) fishing efforts in national Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), action strategy for Nature Conservation, Pacific Islands Regional Oceans Policy, Whales and Dolphins Action Plan, Marine Turtle Action Plan, Dugong Action Plan, Regional Wetlands Action Plan etc.

Source: Solomon Star

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A significant pay rise in the pipe line for Solomon Islands' Politicians

A proposal is being put before the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission for what is believed to be a significant rise in pay for members of parliament.

The SIBC understands the proposal puts the Prime Ministers annual salary at 145-thousand dollars, his deputy 130-thousand, ministers of the crown and the leader of opposition at 120-thousand, the deputy speaker of parliament and the leader of the independent MPs 110-thousand, whilst ordinary MPs get 100-thousand.

The Parliamentary Entitlements Commission met today to look at the proposal.

SIBC News was unable to determine how much extra the proposed increases would cost government, and if the submission includes proposed increases to other entitlements of the MPs.

It is also not clear how much the proposed salaries would increase from the current levels.

But National Secretary to the Solomon Islands Council of Trade Unions, Tony Kagovai says he believes the increases are significant.

Mr Kagovai says he will need look into the likely impacts of the proposed salary increase to MPs before making a statement on behalf of SICTU members later.

He however says even if the proposed increases are not significant from what members of the previous house were getting, they do not justify the quality of services that government provides to its people.

Source: SIBC

Solomon Katukatu U12 qualifies for semi finals in Ba, Fiji

By Francis Pituvaka in Lautoka

The Solomon Katukatu U12 boys qualify for the semifinals after collecting mixed bag of results from the competition held at Govind Park Ba over the last two days.

Having arrived on the eve of the competition, it took them a while to settle down into the competition.
On Friday, they played two matches against Fiji 2 and Fiji 3 respectively. The Katukatus drew nil-all in their first match before they beat Fiji 3 by 4-0 to end their day with four (4) points.

Yesterday morning, they could only settle for a draw with Samoa 2 before they handed neighbours Besta Kapul of PNG a 3-2 beating. The boys led 2 nil at half time but complacency in the defence allowed PNG to score to successive goals before Solomon Katukatu's tallisman Jamie Molea rounded the PNG defence to send a neat cross across the face of the goal for Junior Fa'arodo to finish.
That goal was scored at injury time and not long after the final whistle went for the end of the match.

Young Molea was again instrumental in their win against Canterbury of New Zealand in their final match. The Solomon Katukatu needed to win this match to secure their place as they were tie on eight point with their opponent prior to this match. It was a jigsaw puzzle as the next two teams in their pool Samoa 2 and Fiji 2 are on six points and if either of them wins, they would have a chance to progress on into the semis. Both teams drew 0-0 so made it easier for Solomon Katukatu.

Katukatu's win has elevated them to the top of the Group B table and they will now take on the runner up in Pool A which is United Soccer 1 of New Zealand today.

Source: SIFF News

SI Public Servants will get a 6% pay rise

Acting Minister of Finance, Hon Gordon Darcy Lilo, announced on Friday that the Government had approved wage increases for public servants and teachers. The wage increase is largely driven by increases in prices in the community over the last 12 months.

The Minister said: “Salaries are to be increased by 6 per cent. This will be backdated to 1 January 2006.

“In addition, there will be a lump sum payment, equivalent to 7 per cent of wages, for the period 1 January to 30 June 2006.”

When he made the announcement the Minister said that the decision represents a big cost to the Budget. The Minister said that the cost to the 2006 Budget is around SBD$13 million – around 2 per cent of domestic revenue of SBD$688 million.

“This adds to the 27 per cent of the Government’s 2006 Recurrent Budget that is spent on payrolls,” the Minister added.

Because it adds to the wages base, the decision also has a cost to the 2007 Budget, estimated at around SBD$8 million.

The Minister said that with each increase in public service pay there was less money to spend on delivering other services. While price movements were the main reason for the pay increase agreed yesterday the Minister noted that “the Government also expects its public servant to live up to their part of the bargain and show improvements in performance.”

The Minister said that the Government appreciated that it had many hard working and dedicated public servants. However, he also pointed to the concerns raised by the Minister for the Public Service, Hon Joses Sanga, about the poor work performance and attitudes of some public officers – especially in attendance and discipline.

Minister Lilo said: “There are many calls on the public purse. We have a duty to make sure we get the best value wherever we spend our money. The Government is looking forward to working constructively with public servants and with their unions to improve productivity in line with wage increases.”

Source: Government Communication Unit

Friday, July 21, 2006

There's a gap between ordinary Solomon Islanders and government processes: OXFAM Report

Oxfam Australia and Oxfam New Zealand has released a report "Bridging the gap between state and society New directions for the Solomon Islands".

Oxfam says the purpose of the report is to present the voices of Solomon Islanders, which are at risk of not being heard in this period of rapid change.

The report builds on earlier work undertaken by a group of Solomon Islanders presented at an Asia-Pacific Region conference, at the University of Queensland in 2005.

Research was undertaken through extensive interviews with various people during 2005 and with communities and civil society groups in Malaita, Guadalcanal and Western Province.

Interviews were also done with members of the Solomon Islands Government, RAMSI officials and Australian diplomatic personnel in Honiara and Australian Government officials in Canberra.

The report documents a widespread feeling that ordinary Solomon Islanders are excluded from government processes and decision-making, pointing to a lack of linkages and engagement between government and citizens.

It says despite improved security over the last three years, there remains a widespread lack of confidence that current proposals for economic development in Solomon Islands will benefit all.

Source: SIBC

Sogavare appeals for teamwork and cooperation from new Permanent Secretaries

By George Tausiria

The Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare yesterday accented the need for better team work and co-operation between Permanent Secretaries themselves and politicians.

In a meeting between the Prime Minister and the newly contracted Permanent Secretaries yesterday, Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr John Roughan related Mr Sogavare’s appeal to the Permanent Secretaries that it was essential for them to reinforce the team approach as managers of government departments and ministries.

“For instance, when the ministry of agriculture wants a cheque processed, both finance and agriculture should make sure there’s no delay in processing such a request,”.Dr Roughan explained.

During the meeting Mr Roughan said the Prime Minister was also not happy that despite the country’s tremendous resources, Solomon Islands is still being classified as a Least Developed Nation and donor-driven.

The Prime Minister felt that for Solomon Islands to be donor-driven in the first 15 years was acceptable “but not after 28 years of independence”.

He said the problems faced by the country – break away movement in 1978, Guadalcanal bona fide demands in 1988, and the ethnic tensions at the end of 1998 were the same problems dressed up in different rhetoric.

Dr Roughan then quoted the Prime Minister as saying: “Why aren’t we responding to the problem of lack of decentralization in decision-making and development?”

The Secretary to the Prime Minister said the ship of the state had been heading in a direction towards a reef and “we have to change the course of the ship.”

“Next few years we divert a few degrees from the reef, we’ve accomplished something,” he said.
The crunch of the Prime Minister’s message according to Dr Roughan was: “How important permanent secretaries are important to this state of the ship analogy, leaders set the policies, but the nuts and bolts of how policies work is up to permanent secretaries, that is why co-operation among themselves and politicians is vital.”

Source: Government Communication Unit

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Forestry Department investigates Logging Operation

Commissioner of Forests Gordon Konairamo says he's sent a team from his department to the Kongulae water source in Honiara yesterday to investigate the logging operations reported there.

Mr Konairamo says he's already issued a directive that the operation be suspended immediately pending an inquiry.

He says if the operation is found to be illegal, he will order a seizure of the equipment.

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands Water Authority General Manager John Waki says representatives of Kongulae landowners who support SIWA held discussions with the authority yesterday.

Mr Waki says it was evident from the discussions that there was a split between the land owners, but SIWA wants the operation to stop immediately.

Mr Waki says he's still waiting for a response from Forestry officials after they have submitted their reports to them yesterday.

Meanwhile, the boss of Cruz Marketing company which has a contract with landowners of the area to buy logs referred SIBC news to speak to Guadalcanal Provincial member for the area, Peter Pukuvita.

SIBC news has been unable to get any comment from the Provincial member.

Source: SIBC

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Salary boost for new Permanent Secretaries


The 26 newly appointed Permanent Secretaries would receive an annual salary of $91,000 – putting them in par with some of the top paid employees in the country.

This was a significant improvement from previous contracts, according to a spokesman from the Office of the Prime Minister. The spokesman said yesterday the last permanent secretaries were given $60,000 per annum plus other entitlements under their contract.

“So there was a significant improvement in the contract governing the terms and conditions of the new permanent secretaries.

“Of significance is the increase from $60,000 to $91,000 in salary for the new PSs,” the spokesman said.

This means in a year, the Government would spend more than $2.3 million in salaries alone for the permanent secretaries. The PSs are also entitled to Government accommodation and vehicles, apart from other entitlements.

The permanent secretaries have begun signing their four-year contracts with the Government yesterday. And they are expected to take their oaths before Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena today.

The spokesman said the government decided to increase the salaries for permanent secretaries as a way of attracting the best people and to encourage them to perform well. Permanent Secretaries are the highest administrative post holders in the government.

The spokesman said under their contracts, the government would review the performances of the permanent secretaries after six months in office.

Among the 26 permanent secretaries, five of them are women. Four of the permanent secretaries are on special duties. And for the first time, the Department of Finance and Treasury was allocated with two permanent secretaries.

Source: Solomon Star

Ulufa'alu finds dosage for Growth

By George Tausiria

Finance Minister Hon. Bart Ulufa’alu yesterday outlined his prescription to enhance rural-led growth and increase Solomon Islands Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Minister said: Prior to the elections the Winds of Change had created an expectation for change, hence the Grand Coalition’s rural-led development strategy.”

In any calculations for growth, Mr Ulufa’alu said the base of economic growth lies in the 50 constituencies.

He said for the GDP to increase, government needs to focus its attention on the more than 400,000 in the informal and self-employment sector in the rural areas.

The Minister observed that since 2003, the development budget allocations in the productive sector – agriculture, fisheries, forestry, commerce and tourism – were not fully realized, hence the need to push the idea of a private service provider.

The real constraint according to Mr Ulufa’alu has been: “Compulsory saving is high but there is no compulsory lending, there is high liquidity in the financial system.”

The minister then made a reference to the Copra industry, saying if it is to grow it needs driers, ship, cash and crushing mills if it is to go downstream.

“All these can be provided if there is government intervention,” he said.

“Such an intervention can happen, if the development budget allocations to the productive sector, that have not been fully utilized since 2003, can be re-allocated to the Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands on behalf of the 50 constituencies for equity purposes, so that ICSI is able to buy shares in private companies that develop this industry and of course productivity.

“In return, the private sector will and should develop the industry, provide dividend and revenue to SIG where at the end of the day, the dividend goes back to the constituency while government makes money from normal taxes, salaries and wages that can be earned through rural employment.”

The Finance Minister said a formula for the copra industry with strong elements of ownership and creativity can be applied to the other productive sectors.

Source: Government Communication Unit

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SI should adopt State Government System without delay: says PAP wing leader

People's Alliance Party Parliamentary Wing leader Clement Kengava reminds the government not to hold another nation-wide consultation on the federal government system.

Mr Kengava says instead the government should finalize the drafted constitution based on the "Green Paper" approved by the Parliament last year so that the new constitution can be tabled in parliament this year or early next year.

The MP says the future of Solomon Islands rests on political solutions and not economic packages to the Provinces.

Mr Kengava calls on the government to treat the adoption of the new constitution as the priority political solution for change and rebuilding of a new Solomon Islands.

He says the government should concentrate more in assisting Provinces build infrastructures like roads, wharves and airfields and allow each Province to draw up their rural Development Policy in preparation for becoming states under the new Federal government.

Mr Kengava praises the government for setting up a special division to address Constitutional Reform and State Government.

Source: SIBC Online

SI can succeed in Agricultural development: Taiwan Specialist

By George Herming

A top Taiwanese Agriculture specialist and Assistant Secretary General of the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) strongly believed that Solomon Islands can successfully follow Taiwan’s footstep in agricultural development.

Dr Pai-po Lee who had successfully established several rice projects in the country said Solomon Islands is one of the largest countries in the Pacific and it has more suitable land for agricultural development.

He further stressed that Solomon Islanders are highly self-sufficient people, a very suitable feature for agricultural development.

“I think the Solomon Islands has the potential.

“The first one, I think is the self-sufficiency of the Solomon people which is the most important part for the environment and natural resources, as the Solomon Islands is a larger country following Papua New Guinea and the Fiji Islands.

“I think you have more arable land than other neighbouring countries, such as Nauru, with only 20 square kilometres.

“Relative to other Pacific island countries, the Solomon Islands is considered quite big,” Dr Lee said in Taiwan last week.

Agriculture has been one of the previous foundations of Taiwan’s economy before its transformation into manufacturing and technologically based economy today.

Early attempts by Australian and American experts to increase rice production in Solomon Islands were unsuccessful.

However, Taiwanese experts are actively engaging in boosting the rice industry with their technology and knowledge in many parts of Solomon Islands.

“Now, our experts carry out rice projects in the Solomon Islands which are very successful.

“So, we'd like to encourage rice production for your local people and self-sufficiency of optimal production.

“This is for food security and is the highest priority of Solomon Islanders,” Dr Lee said.

He added that the assurance of self-sufficiency would later allow for surplus in the commercial or business industry.

“I think this is the second stage of the business development,” he said.
Mr Lee and other members of the Taiwan ICDF has actively involved in organizing a two-week media workshop for 53 journalists and media professionals around the world which concluded last week.

Source: Government Communication Unit

Monday, July 17, 2006

The outcomes of TARD's meeting on Friday (14/07/06)

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) members in Fiji have successfully held another meeting last friday at the University of the South Pacific Student Association's Conference room, with around 23 member attendees.

TARD boys discussing a point during the meeting

This has been the second official meeting of the Student Volunteer Organization this year and there is proposed monthly meetings after this.

The meeting began with a word of welcome by the Chairman, followed by a an opening prayer from Mr Simon Mau. After that there was a general briefing to several new members about the background of TARD and its goals.

Next was the presentation of a cash prize of FJD$100 to Mr Wilfred Atomea for winning the logo competition that was recently organised by TARD, with kind sponsorship from Leliana Daowana Firisua.

TARD logo prize winner,Wilfred Atomea (right), receiving his cash prize of FJ$100.

The outcome of the agendas discussed are summarised below so that To'abaitans, either students or working elites can take note of:

1. Our students in Fiji have agreed to contribute $20 each this semester to help the organisation towards planned fundraising activities this semester.

2. The organization will now open its bank account with ANZ this week, following the appointment of a treasurer and bank account signatories. A minimum opening balance of FJD$250 is already donated to TARD by Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua.

3. As soon as the bank account is openned, TARD will be seeking goodwill financial support from North Malaita people who are either studying or working in Honiara and overseas. This appeal will also be extended to business houses, funding agencies, NGOs, and other potential individuals.

4. TARD has commissioned a "Potential Working Paper for North Malaita Constituency" which was compiled by TARD after extensive collective research and discussion from To'abaita leaders. This report will be submitted shortly to our Member of Parliament for North Malaita, Honourable Daniel Enele Kwanairara for his feedbacks. Other interested people who want to read the working paper can request a copy from TARD by emailing us at

Left: a copy of the North Malaita Working Paper; right: TARD Sample Constitution

5. TARD members who attended the meeting have unanimously agreed to adopt a sample constitution that was debated during the meeting. The TARD Constitution will be finalised shortly by our Laywer students.

Some of the North Malaita women who attended the TARD meeting

6. We have also appointed a 6 member Committee to represent TARD in Honiara. Their roles will be to follow up on potential development proposals with endorsing authorities in Honiara or funding agencies. They will also advance the TARD Concept to other North Malaitans in Honiara and Malaita through meetings and fundraisings. They will also work in partnership with our North Malaita MP towards the rural development of North Malaita Constituency. The 6 Committee Member appointed to represent TARD in Honiara are:

Males: Joseph Inomae (Fo'ondo area), Jack Filiomea (Bita'ama area) & Ofani Eremae (Malu'u area)

Females: Rosemary Kafa (Malu'u area), Pauline Firisua (Loina area) & Salome Kwaiga (Fo'ondo area)

TARD will now contact the appointed members individually to seek their support and committment. Once they have accepted our request we will make a public confirmation on this later. But we believe they will take on this voluntary role as their personal contribution to help our rural communities in North Malaita.

7. TARD is currently in contact with two NGOs in New Zealand for assistance towards our medical health centres in North Malaita and another proposal is yet to be determined. When details are confirmed, we will also confirm it on this website.

The appointed TARD Executive Officers (l-r): Fiona Peupelu, Hubert Baselo, Exsley Taloiburi, Peter Fairamoa & Steven Filiomea.

8. Due to increasing requirements of TARD, we have decided to appoint an executive committee to take the leading voluntary role in managing the activities of the organization. The appointed Executive Officers are:

-Chairman: Mr Exsley Taloiburi
-Vice Chairman: Mr Peter Fairamoa
-Treasurer: Mr Hubert Baselo
-Secretary: Mr Steven Filiomea
-Women's rep: Mrs Fiona Peupelu

NTU to have New Scholarship Management Programme

The Minister for Education Dr Derek Sikua has said that his Ministry had put in place a programme to improve the selection, management and administration of the scholarship programme.

Dr Sikua says the findings of the audit report on the National Training Unit's selection of scholarship are very serious.

He says the Ministry would ensure accurate student records and financial procedures is a newly developed student and course information system known as SCHOLAR.

Dr Sikua says this computer-based system has inbuilt audit functions and all student awards which will be managed through this system in the near future.

The audit report reveals that a number of students taking up scholarships did so through dubious and questionable actions from the National Training Unit.

The report says that in some instances scholarships were awarded at the discretion of the minister, permanent secretary or under Secretary which is out of the normal process.

Source: SIBC Online

Saturday, July 15, 2006

SI will have no loggable trees by 2011: Commissioner predicts

Commissioner of Forest and North Malaitan, Gordon Konairamo predicts a gloom picture of the country's forestry within the next six years.

Speaking after discussions on the Convention to combat desertification, Mr Konairamo says Solomon Islands will be without loggable trees by 2011, if it harvests one million cubic metres of log each year.

He reveals that the amount of trees felled and exported cannot be exact because the national government only supported six log monitoring centres in Western Province.

Another Convention under discussion today was the Convention on Bio-diversity.

Presenter of the Convention, Michelle Legu says the government is not committing itself fully to the convention.

She says after the ethnic tension, government's focus was on post conflict issues instead of the environment.

Mrs Legu says the Office is still very under staff with only two officers in the Department.

But, the Commissioner of Forest confirms that four posts are being advertised for the department.

Menawhile, the Central Bank Governor Rick Hou has also raised concerns over revelations that the country's forests would be exhausted in as early as six years through logging.

Mr Hou raises the concerns following a number of inventories and studies that were conducted by forestry officers.

The studies reveal reveal that forests resources would be depleted in six years, at the current rate of harvesting, which is about four times the sustainable level.

Mr Hou says this would impact very severely on the economy, as logging accounts for 60 percent of total exports, 14 percent of governments total revenue and about 10 percent of the national GDP.

"If we reach a time when there are no more trees to cut, we don't have anything else to replace it. So, its impact on the economy would be serious, and six years is not long enough to be able to fill up the gap."

He says at present both the government and resource owners don't benefit fully from industry, otherwise government would have used revenue it collected from the industry to help local people replant their forests.

Source: SIBC Online

SI Government announce the nation's New Permanent Secretaries

Public Service Commission has approved appointment of new Permanent Secretaries.

The Public Service Commission met on thursday to deliberate on the recommendations for the appointment submitted by the Government.

Eight new faces were included in the new appointments. They are Ms Joy Kere, Israel Wore, Charles Viva, Fred Fakarii, Dr. Cyril Pitakaka, Peter Hauia and Luke Eta.

Previously, Luke Eta was Permanent Secretary to Culture and Tourism but had to resign to contest in the last General Elections. He returns to the same Department.

Those who did not make it back are Edward Kingmele, Steve-Daniel Likaveke, Donald Kundu and John Ta’aru.

Meanwhile, Ruth Liloqula, Francis Lomo, John Tuhaika and Dr. G. Malefoaasi have been re-engaged as Permament Secretaries on special duties.

Ruth Liloqula will look after Reconciliation and Recommission in the Department of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, while John Tuhaika will head the Constitutional Reform and State Government Systems in the Prime Minister & Cabinet Department.

Dr. G. Malefoaasi will be in charge of Review & Restructure of Health Delivery Systems in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Francis Lomo will look after special projects in the Department of Agriculture and Livestock.

This is the first time that more women are appointed to the top executive posts.

Dr. Israel Wore who was Under-Secretary in the Department of Agriculture & Livestock will now become the department’s Permanent Secretary. Dr. Wore is a qualified veterinarian.

Charles Viva an educationist by profession will become Permanent Secretary to the Department of Lands and Surveys.

Fred Fakarii has been in the Public Service for a long time, holding senior posts in other government departments.

He was provincial secretary to Malaita Provincial Government and has since holding a post of Under-Secretary until his appointment this week.

Before the appointments of the new permanent secretaries, Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare had reiterated that the government was serious about selecting the right people to the top posts.

He said his government would look at gender balance and other criteria such as qualification, work experience and the ability to move government's policy forward.

He said the government has only 4 years to carry out its policy so it was serious about who would be appointed to take on those jobs.

He said by Monday next week new permanent secretaries should be at their respective offices to start working.

© Government Communications Unit

Source: PF Net

Friday, July 14, 2006

Chairman of NPC expresses fear over law and order

The Chairman of the National Peace Council, NPC, Paul Tovua, has expressed fear that trouble may re-surface after the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands leaves the country.

"I think at the moment, people must no think RAMSI is the answer. RAMSI is just like the lid of a pot or container. Whilst the whole issue is inside the container is simmering and the lid is on, that's RAMSI. You take out the lid, the whole thing will boil up, unless important issues including land, squatting and development in other provinces come true."

Mr Tovua says there is still the need for the NPC to complete some of its tasks such as mediation with people affected by the social unrest, to ensure a proper reconciliation and rehabilitation process .

He say since the last government, the fate of NPC is uncertain, adding that this is unfair on the members as Solomon Islanders.

Mr Tovua says the strength of NPC in performing its task is its independence from the government bureaucracy.

Source: SIBC Online

SI Prime Minister announces enquiry into the Black Tuesday Riots in April

Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare today announced that Government had established a Commission of Inquiry into the April riots.

The Prime Minister announced to the press yesterday afternoon that the Commission of Inquiry comprises of Hon. Marcus Einfield QC, a former Australian Federal Judge, former Parliament Speaker and Guadalcanal Premier, Waeta Ben, and former President of the Solomon Islands Bar Association, Gabriel Suri.

The Government has also appointed former Public Service Commission Chairman, Mr Hugh Paia, as secretary to the Commission.

The terms of reference of the Commission, among other things, cover almost all aspects of the April 18 civil unrest in Honiara which ranges from identifying the perpetrators of the riots, reviewing the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Honourable Members of Parliament Mr Charles Dausabea and Nelson Ne’e and the role of the RSIP and PPF Police in the mayhem following the election of Honourable Snyder Rini as Prime Minister.

“I appeal to everyone to assist in unravelling the truth about the events that have portrayed us in such a shameful light on the international stage.
“If there was indeed much more to what we know about what happened, this is our only chance to come out and tell the truth to set the record straight for the history of Solomon Islands,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Sogavare said the Commission of Inquiry will submit a report within 6 month.

Source: Government Communications Unit

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Zealand commits SBD40 Million Aid to support Education in Solomon Islands

New Zealand Aid has confirmed it will continue to support phase two of the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme, ESIRP in Solomon Islands with 40-million for the next three years.

This was revealed by the Minister for Education Dr Derek Sikua when he opened the Ministry's ESIRP review yesterday.

"This amounts to SBD 40 million dollars per year as direct budget support and New Zealand one million dollars per year for technical assistance to support program implementation. On that not, I wish to thank New Zealand for their foresight and intention for a good cause".

Dr Sikua says NZAID's announcement of support for 2007 to 2009 phase two was made through New Zealand High Commissioner Brian Sanders.

The ESIRP review will complete today at the King Solomon Hotel.

Source: SIBC Online

Don't degrade the sculptures on display at the Museum: Foanaota

National Museum Director Lawrence Foanaota is very disappointed about the way some young boys in Honiara tried to write on the recently completed sculptures on display in the Museum grounds.

Mr Foanaota says the incident happened last Sunday afternoon but fortunately the Museum's security saw them in time and forced them to leave.

He says this is very sad and worrying because young people who are the future of the country don't seem to have any appreciation and respect for things that promote this country.

Mr Foanaota says the responsibility of education young Solomon Islanders to respect others and properties lies with parents.

He warns that in future they will call in the police to deal with anyone who will try to disrespect the country's properties which the National Museum is charged to take care of.

Meanwhile, a senior carver and mentor to some young carvers who participated in the Solomon Islands Tobacco company sponsored sculpture project, Frank Haikiu says responsible authorities must deal with young people deface art works.

Referring to attempts by some young people who have tries to spoil some sculptures displayed at the National Museum in Honiara lat week, Haikiu says such attitude is not conducive for peace.

He says parents are responsible in educating their children to appreciate "why all of us strive to rebuild the image of Solomon Islands".

Source: SIBC Online

Solomon still a true happy Isles

By Arthur Wate

Solomon Islanders are among the happiest people on earth, according to a new study.
But our neighbours, the ni-Vanuatu, are even happier. Clear winners, in fact.

The study, conducted by a British research body called the New Economics Foundation, ranks Vanuatu as the happiest country on the planet. Solomon Islands is ranked 20th.
But that’s not bad, considering that no less than 178 countries were assessed in the study.

Particularly as Solomon Islanders have faced civil war, riots and widespread arson, over recent times. Despite all that, our old name, the Happy Isles, still applies.

Western Samoa, though, beat us, chalking up 14th place. Other neighbours, including Australia and New Zealand, don’t do nearly as well as we do. Australia finished miserably. It could manage only 139th place. New Zealand did a little better, in the 94th spot.

Zimbabwe, though, was ranked as the unhappiest country of all. Surprisingly, perhaps, not one of the world’s rich western countries could find a place, even among the 50 happiest nations on the planet. Italy did best, in that group, at 66th.

However, the study was completed before Italy’s victory in the World Cup. A fresh study, conducted now, would probably see it move up a notch or two.

So how did the Foundation reach these conclusions, which some Solomon Islanders might doubt?

The index, on which it relied, measured life satisfaction, life expectancy, energy consumption and a measure the Foundation called environmental footprint. That is the amount of land required to sustain its population and absorb its energy consumption.

Solomon Islanders recorded an impressively high 6.9 rating on life satisfaction, only slightly below Vanuatu’s 7.4. The Foundation’s Happy Planet Index, an overall measure, gave Solomon Islands a score of 58.9, compared with Vanuatu’s chart topping 68.2.

However, even if the Foundation is right in its view that Australians are not nearly as happy as Solomon Islanders, the people of our big neighbour still have advantages.
They tend to live longer, for example. The study gives average life expectancy, in Solomon Islands, as 62.3 years. The comparable figure for Australia is 80.3 years.

Life still tends to be nasty, short and brutal in the three bottom ranking countries, though. Average life expectancy in AIDS ridden Swaziland, the which is second only to Zimbabwe, as the unhappiest nation on earth, is just 32.5 years. That is well short of the biblical average of three score years and ten, or 70 in modern language.
Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, itself, is not much better, at 36.9 years.

Life, for Zimbabweans these days, is miserable, as well as short, with a life satisfaction rating of just 3.3. That is, they are less than half as happy as either Solomon Islanders or the ni Vanuatu.

Source: Solomon Star

Audit uncovers National Training Unit (NTU) Anomalies


There are serious mismanagement, inappropriate budgetary practices, poor record keeping and biased awarding of scholarships within the National Training Unit (NTU).
An audit of the unit by the Office of the Auditor General uncovered these grave anomalies.

NTU is a body within the Ministry of Education responsible for management and awarding of tertiary scholarships.But the audit report revealed serious breakdowns in critical management systems and procedures in the administration of the scholarship programme.

“We identified many instances where scholarships have been awarded at the minister’s discretion or by the Permanent Secretary or Under-Secretary outside of the normal NTC process,” the audit report says. It also found that students who do not meet scholarship requirements are being awarded scholarships.

The report says the Ministry currently has no approved guidelines for the selection, approval and on-going monitoring of tertiary scholarships. This, it added, has led to subjective and inappropriate practices. “There is minimal assessment criteria applied to scholarship applications. “There is no weighing of selection criteria, no ranking of student applications, no documentation maintained to explain why a scholarship was awarded or not awarded.

“Applicants are provided with no guidance when applying for scholarships which is resulting in numerous queries being directed at NTU officers, which diminishes their ability to perform their duties effectively,” the report said.

The audit also uncovered that there’s no system in place within NTU to manage and monitor scholarships. “There are no procedures for retention of student data, there is poor recording of student information and poor monitoring of on-going student performance.

“We identified a number of students who were awarded pre-service scholarships but who did not meet the Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement.”

The audit noted that the poor record keeping practices had made it impossible to locate large numbers of applications for 2004, 2005 and 2006. “There’s no evidence of approval of scholarships by National Training Committee. “Therefore we were unable to sight approvals of large numbers of awarded scholarships for 2004, 2005 and 2006.

“The Ministry may be funding non-approved students for tertiary education,” the report added. The audit also discovered preferential treatment in awarding of scholarships to partners.

“The National Training Committee awarded scholarships to partners of students already in receipt of a scholarship based primarily on the fact that one partner already has a scholarship. “This was basically made in an attempt to keep the family unit together.

“But this is unfair to other more qualified applicants who may miss out on a scholarship or who may provide greater benefit to Solomon Islands through their studies. “Also in some instances, couples delay completion of their studies so that both partners can remain together until the partner who received their scholarship last completed their study,” the report says.

The report said it is evident that the scholarship programme is poorly managed and is not providing value for money to the Solomon Islands Government.

It recommended that a tertiary scholarship policy be developed and NTU strengthened.
Auditor General Floyd Augustine Fatai said the audit of NTU was conducted earlier this year. He submitted the report to the Ministry of Education three weeks ago.
Mr Fatai said he is still waiting for NTU to respond to his findings. The audit report was made public yesterday at the Education Sector Coordinating Committee Annual Joint Review in Honiara.

Source: Solomon Star

Ulufa'alu wants government finance protected

By George Tausiria

Finance for Minister Hon. Bartholomew Ulufa’alu yesterday reiterated that the recent guidelines his department had released on remissions were aimed at protecting government revenue.

The Finance Minister said: “If we give away revenue, for instance through the granting of remissions, this would call for increases in taxes which is unjustified.”

The Finance Minister assured Solomon Islanders that while remission can be an incentive for investment promotion, it will be a real low priority.

The Government’s new strategy he revealed would be: “If tax rates are the problem, this would be addressed from the overall tax regime’s point of view, rather than making exemptions for individual players.

“If people are complaining about high duties paid by the logging industry, we should profess a level playing field for all.”

Mr Ulufa’alu said revenue collection was stabilized since the April riots and given the recovery process in the economy, the growth rate should remain high.

The minister is back to work after being hospitalised for some weeks, few days after the present government came into power.

source: Government Communications Unit

National Party should be sacked from Gov't: Fono

The Opposition Leader, Fred Fono suggests the Grand Coalition for Change Government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare should sack its major partner, the National Party.

He makes the suggestion following a statement by National Party Leader and Commerce Minister, Francis Billy Hilly on Radio Australia that if his party took power, it would change diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China.

Mr. Fono says in the same statement Mr Hilly had revealed that his party had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China, it has a growing party support for the switch and the belief that Solomon Islands would get more out of its relationship with Mainland China than it does with Taiwan.

He says Mr Hilly's behaviour undermines the cordial and good bilateral and diplomatic ties between Solomon Islands and Taiwan, adding it is also inconsistent with stated support for the diplomatic ties with Taiwan by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare after he took office.

Although both the Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister Patteson Oti had reassured the Taiwanese Embassy in Honiara that Solomon Islands remains an ally of Taiwan and not China, Mr. Fono says the Sogavare Government should put its policy on Taiwan in order.

He adds as Mr. Oti is a member of Mr Hilly's National Party, both ministers should honour the Government's stated policy on Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese Embassy told the Opposition Office today that it is not worried about Mr Hilly's statement and revelations.

A spokesman says the Embassy is happy with the reassurances by both Mr Sogavare and Mr. Oti this week that the government's support for diplomatic ties with Taipei remains intact.

But Mr Fono maintains his suggestion that the National Party should be sacked from the Coalition for Change Government and he adds, if it does not intend to do that, then the alternative is to get rid of Mr Hilly.

source: People First Network

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

SI Opposition questions method of appointing Permanent Secretaries

The Parliamentary Opposition leader Fred Fono has expressed concern about the way the government is going about appointing Permanent Secretaries.

He says originally the government had called for people to apply for the posts and later trimming down the number to a short list for interviews.

Mr Fono however says government has changed its mind and cancelled the applications and to hand pick those who will fill the PSs posts.

He questions the practice as it can lead to nepotism and appointment of people who may not be the right persons for the Permanent Secretaries' posts.

Meanwhile, the National Secretary of the Solomon Islands Council of Trade Unions, Tony Kagovai has expressed similar concern about the method government is appointing Permanent Secretaries.

Mr Kagovai says the government must demonstrate good governance, transparency and accountability in the running of the country.

source: SIBC Online (

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

SI PM's Special Secretary admitted being stranded in Australia

Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Sam Alasia yesterday admitted he got stranded in Brisbane recently and could not accompany the prime minister all the way to France.

Mr Alasia left the country with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on 22 June 2006 for the France-Pacific leaders summit. But after he checked in at Brisbane Airport for the connection flight to France on 24 June, he was surprisingly told the plane was fully booked and therefore could not board the flight.

“Really, it was a ticketing problem with Solomon Airlines.“And because I could not make it, the prime minister had asked me to follow up on several government matters while waiting in Brisbane,” Mr Alasia told the Solomon Star yesterday.

Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Rence Sore, and Gov't backbencher West Kwaio MP Peter Tom, accompanied Mr Sogavare all the way to France.

Opposition spokesman Edward Huniehu said Mr Alasia should have return immediately when he could not continue on to France.“To spend a week in Brisbane is a total waste of public money.“Mr Alasia left the country to go to France. In an event where he got stranded on the way, the right thing to do is to return home.“To say he has to attend to government business in Brisbane is not acceptable. This was not the purpose for him going overseas,” Mr Huniehu said.

However, Mr Alasia said when he was told the flight was full, Prime Minister Sogavare asked him to follow up on certain outstanding matters with the University of Queensland. “The first thing I was asked to follow up on was a Memorandum of Understanding between Solomon Islands Government and the University of Queensland.
“The MOU was signed in 2003 by the last government. I followed up on it. “Another matter that I followed up on was with the Peace and Conflict Studies at the same university. “I basically enquire into how South Africa set up its Truth and Reconciliation Commission.“I have done my reports on both matters are now ready to be submitted to the prime minister,” Mr Alasia said.

He said although he was disappointed the trip ended up like that, he was pleased to have fulfilled the assignments he was given to undertake.“I believe the matters that I’ve attended to while in Brisbane could have cost the Government a fortune if it sends another delegation to follow up on,” Mr Alasia said.

He spent a week in Brisbane and returned together with Prime Minister Sogavare on July 1.

Mr Alasia also explained that he was picked to go with the Prime Minister’s delegation because the Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr John Roughan, was not available.He said Dr Roughan also left the same week to overseas but he was on a private trip to London for a NGO meeting.

Prior to their departure, the public was told both Mr Alasia and Dr Roughan would accompany the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Mr Huniehu has questioned why the Prime Minister’s Office had kept Mr Alasia’s predicament under wraps for far too long.“In the interest of transparency, the Prime Minister’s Office should have explain this to the public immediately after the return of the delegation.“When they leave it for someone else to find out, it does not speak well of a government that professes transparency as a cornerstone to its leadership,” Mr Huniehu said.

He also expressed surprise at why Dr Roughan undertook a private trip when the nation was told he was accompanying the prime minister.

source: Solomon Star

North Malaita Students contribute to organizing Independence celebration in Townsville

By Duran Angiki, North Queensland

Members of the Solomon Islands community in Townsville celebrated the country’s 28th anniversary of independence on Sunday in a spectacular fun day at Pallarenda beach.
About 30 Solomon Islands students with families and friends from the North Queensland towns and city of Innisfail; a town near Cairns, Townsville and Home Hill - 100 km South of Townsville, attended the beach party.

Event organisers and Solomon Islands student at James Cook University Donald Tahani, Hensllyn Pwe’a, Alec Hughes, Ami Sabestian, and Jeremy Bartlett, with the help of friends and families prepared a motu and island food. Two North Malaita students who are part of the organizing committee are Rosemary Maealatha and Richard Tolinao.

Townsville’s Solomon Islands community, including a Chinese man and family - Li Fam, who fled the country during the recent past violence in Honiara, invited guests from Fiji, PNG, Samoan and local friends, also attended and brought along food.

The beach party celebration started at 10:30am, under a blue sky-warm winter. The day’s activities mellow down with the serving of food and later kids and parents play touch-footy and soccer. Kids were treated to a real fun day.

The day’s celebration also brought together Solomon Islanders and old friends who are living, working and studying in North Queensland, but are unable to meet due to distance, work and study commitment. Families and the rest of the group applauded the organisers for a fine and enjoyable celebration as it officially ended at 5:50pm.

source: Solomon Star

Suspect's rights took "second place": Lawyer

by Arthur Wate

Defence lawyer, Colin Baker, asked an Australian policewoman yesterday if an accused man’s rights had “taken second place” to police travel “preferences”.

Sergeant Sinead Done, to whom the question had been addressed, flatly denied the suggestion. “No,” she said.

Mr Baker questioned both Sergeant Done and her colleague Sergeant Dianne Suter, about the way they interviewed a Malaitan man, accused of murder.

The man, Lee Aludani, was among five men and one woman who appeared in the High Court yesterday, on charges arising from the deaths of two special constables. Former MEF leader Jimmy (Rasta) Lusibaea was also among those charged.

The police interview with Mr Aludani was conducted in an air conditioned shipping container, at the Guadalcanal Beach Resort, where RAMSI police were stationed. It coincided with a police rotation. Two officers, who had been involved in the case, were the due to return, almost immediately, to Australia.

Mr Baker said the interview had been conducted in a “rush.” He said the two policewomen had kept on questioning Mr Aludani, without getting a lawyer for him, even though he had asked for one. Mr Baker’s questioning was sharp at times.

“You don’t think Mr Aludani’s rights are more important than your travel arrangements?” he asked Sergeant Done, at one point. “His rights took second place to your preferences, didn’t they?” he added. Sergeant Done flatly rejected that suggestion.

Mr Baker is asking High Court judge, Justice Naqiolevu, to rule that material the two policewomen obtained in that interview be rejected as evidence in the case. The judge is expected to rule on that next week.

Mr Baker said Mr Aludani asked for a lawyer, because he had not been in trouble with the police before and did not know what would happen. Despite that request, the two policewomen had continued to question Mr Aludani, without a lawyer being present.
“You did not want anyone there who was going to interfere with your questioning did you?” he asked Sergeant Suter. “That was not my state of mind, My Lord,” she replied, addressing the judge.

Mr Baker said the two policewomen had acted hastily, in seeking the interview. “You were in a big hurry to get out there and interview him, weren’t you?” he asked. “I did what I was asked to do,” Sergeant Suter replied.

Aludani had appeared in court, on Malaita, the day before the interview. He had then been flown to Honiara and imprisoned at Rove. The police took him to GBR the following day.

Mr Baker questioned Sergeant Suter closely, on issues arising from the police transcript of the interview with Mr Aludani. “After he asked for a lawyer, you said he could have a lawyer later. “How did that happen?” Mr Baker asked. “I don’t recall telling him that he could have a lawyer later,” Sergeant Suter replied.

“He said he wanted a lawyer.“He was charged with murder.“It was after he had appeared in court.“That did not concern you?” Mr Baker asked.“You did not care about that?”
“You just charged ahead with the interview, didn’t you?” Mr Baker declared.
“Even though he had asked for a lawyer.”

“No, My Lord,” Sergeant Suter said. Sergeant Done said Mr Aludani had been happy to talk to both her and Sergeant Suter at first, but had later asked for a lawyer.
The court was told that Mr Aludani did not speak pidgin very well and spoke in his own language, at times, during the interview. A Royal Solomon Islands Police Officer acted as interpreter during the interview.

The others, who also appeared before the court yesterday, were Rocky Diobesi, Mamanu Fataloa and Vika Koto. Mr Baker said he would present further documentary evidence to the court tomorrow.

source: Solomon Star

Solomon Islands government prefer diplomatic relationship with Taiwan

Foreign Affairs minister Patteson Oti says the Grand Coalition for Change government's policy statement recognises the Republic of china on Taiwan as Solomon Islands diplomatic ally.

The Foreign Minister's comments follow speculations that Solomon Islands may switch its diplomatic allegiance to Mainland China.

But Mr Oti says the fact remains that Solomon Islands maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

In a statement, Mr Oti says a political party in the coalition that speaks outside the scope of the government's policy statement does not represent the official government policy on the two Chinas.

He says whilst Solomon Islands trade with mainland China is quite substantial, it does not constitute Solomon Islands' recognition of a policy shift towards Mainland China.

He says the diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Solomon Islands are based on their firm beliefs in democratic principles and values.

source: SIBC Online

Pacific Instability stall development: UN

The United Nations resident representative in the Pacific says the foundation of stability in the region depends on how people are involved in the decision making process in their country.

Richard Dictus made the comments when he was asked about the UN assessment on political stability in the Pacific.

Mr Dictus said political instability in the region, including Solomon Islands in the recent past has stalled development in many Pacific Island nations.

"There is a lot more clear thinking in pacific islands governments and with pacific island people on the importance of law and order, on the importance of stability, on the importance of peace. I guess that sometimes having had to go through a number of difficult periods focuses the mind a lot more, and I think its the resilience of the people, the resourcefulness of the people and the understanding of the people that they have now, that will indeed make sure that things move forward."

Mr Dictus said the U-N role in the Pacific is to ensure that the development would improve the lives of the people.

source: SIBC Online

PRK Souths draw with SI under 20 Soccer team

The PRK Souths of Port Moresby put on a their best performance on Saturday last week but could only manage a draw with the national Under 20 boys at Lawson Tama.

Playing infront of the local crowd and under flood lights, they pressed forward early and were the first to get into the scoresheet.

Solomon Islands international Jack Samani made sure his club go away with something when he tipped into the back of the net a rebound. An initial shot at goal was parried away by Solomon Islands No.1 keeper Shedrick Ramoni but his clearance fell into Samani's path for an easy opening goal.

But the goal brought life into the Solomon Islands youth team who stepped up their raids into the PNG territory. Judd Molea led his charges as they pressed their opponents back into defensive mode.

Junior Manebona who only a week earlier was one of the leading goal scorers in the Unity in Sports national soccer championship was again at hand to tap in the equaliser. But it was Molea who delivered the vital cross from the right side of the Western end of Lawson Tama. He had danced his way through the defence line before unleasing a shot across the face of the goal for Junior Manebona to score.

As if that is not enough, Molea who set up the earlier goal scored from the penalty spot after he was brought down inside the 18 yards box. Going into half time break with a 2-1 goal margin, the U20 side were a little complacent when the match resumes.

A revamped PRK Souths came back more determined and was able to cancel out Solomon's goal in the first few minutes to bring back some respect into their camp. From then on it was anybody's game as both teams searched for the winner. Chances went begging for both teams and at the end they had to accept a draw.

But for PRK Souths, it was a positive buildup towards their franchise league. They had decided to come to Solomon Islands because of the standard and quality of football here. Club patron John Natto says this is just the beginning and assured of another visit next year. He says he is prepared to sign on other players from Solomon Islands to play for his club.

source: SIFF News

Monday, July 10, 2006

SI Culture Minister opens contemporary sculpture project in Honiara

Minister for Culture and Tourism Bently Samuel Ragosomani has praised the local carvers involved in the first ever contemporary sculpture project at the National Museum in Honiara.

Mr Ragosomani made the comments while opening the project last Thursday afternoon.

The project called Peace and Unity in Art Sculpture is now on display at the National Museum village model.

The Minister said the artists had used chain saws and other tools to produce the more than ten sculptures now standing there, saying already there's discussion of artists using metal for a similar project.

Mr Ragosomani also appealed to organisations to support local artists continue in this way.

Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner Patrick Cole told SIBC news that it would be good if local artists can be supported to work at the Museum every day so that visitors could visit them and watch as they work.

The Peace and Unity in Art Sculpture Project was funded by the Solomon Islands Tobacco Company as part of its ongoing contributions to the community.

National Museum Director and North Malaita leader, Lawrence Faoanaota, also said that the project is another example of the abundant talents of Solomon Islands artists that are just waiting to be tapped.

source: SIBC Online (

Malaita Province supports any mineral exploration

The Malaita Province Minister for Planning and Economic Development, Edwin Suibaea has refuted recent media statements claiming that the provincial government had failed to assist a mining company to prospect for minerals in the province.

Mr Suibaea says the provincial government was approached some months ago by a mining company currently operating in the Western Province.

He says the company requested that the Malaita Provincial government provide a letter supporting an extension to its mineral exploration licence.

Mr Suibaea says the mining company has only recently approached the Provincial government for further discussions which hopefully will take place in the next few weeks.

He says the Malaita Provincial government supports any initiative which can lead to economic development in the province.

Mr Suibaea says more work needs to be done to confirm any mineral deposit in the province and whether it is commercially viable to exploit.

source: SIBC Online (

Italy is the Soccer World Cup Champions after penalty shoot out

By Stuart Watt in Berlin

Italy is celebrating its first World Cup win in 24 years after beating France 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out at the end of a drama-filled final in Berlin this morning.

The match saw French legend Zinedine Zidane's career end in a moment of madness after he was sent off in extra time for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi.

Zidane had earlier scored a seventh-minute penalty to give France the lead before Materazzi - who had conceded the penalty - headed home an Andrea Pirlo corner 13 minutes later to level the scores.

The match finished 1-1 at the end of extra time, and the shoot-out saw David Trezeguet hit the bar with his spot kick before the Fabio Grosso buried his spot kick to send his countrymen into delirium.

Zidane was shown a straight red card for attacking Materazzi after the Italian had grasped him around the midriff during play.

Words were exchanged between the pair and Zidane thrust his head violently down into Materazzi's solar plexus.

After consulting with his linesman, Argentinian referee Horacio Elizondo sent an incredulous Zidane off.

The result was hard on a French team who dominated after half-time, but just could not break down an Italian defence led superbly by captain Fabio Cannavaro, playing his 100th international match.

Zidane could have won it for France late in the first period of extra time when he met a cross from full-back Willy Sagnol.

Zidane rose imperiously and, as memories of Stade de France and Zidane's two headed goals in France's World Cup win eight years ago flashed through the minds of millions of French football fans, he headed the ball hard and true.

But he did not head it down, and Gianluigi Buffon flew high to palm the ball over the crossbar.

Earlier Italy dominated possession in the first 45 minutes and it looked like only a matter of time before they would score.

But France came out after the break inspired by their stars Henry and Zidane and from that point on the French were much the better side.

Italy's only real chance in the second half came when forward Luca Toni headed home a free-kick, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

The second half in particular was frantic. This was no dour arm-wrestle - both sides attacked with vigour.

The result was a game played the way a final should be, like every chance to attack might be your last.


SI government's decentralisation economic development initiative

Government has embarked on a new economic development initiative geared towards decentralisation of economic infrastructure in the country.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says under the plan, Government will setup four economic zones in the country.

He says these zones have been identified for Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita and Temotu provinces.

Mr Sogavare says these special economic zones will be developed into export oriented areas engaged in a range of economic activities including tourism.

He says the concept of this approach is to address decentralisation of development infrastructure to other parts of the country other than on Guadalcanal.

The Prime Minister says this is but one of the 13 demands by the people Guadalcanal which succeeding Governments have not seriously addressed.

Mr Sogavare says Government will be compiling a legislation allowing the Minister responsible to declare the development of these economic zones.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare reveals that a private overseas consortium wants to invest one-point- two billion dollars in Solomon Islands.

The Prime Minister says the private group from Australia, United States of America and Europe had already registered its interest in doing so during preliminary talks with Government officials.

Mr Sogavare says such investment is in-line with government's new economic policy initiative to develop four specific zones to booster business centres.

He says succeeding governments have failed to address the issue of decentralisation of economic development to other parts of the country instead of concentration in one central area such as on Guadalcanal.

Mr Sogavare says the reason Governments of the past failed to address the concept was because they took the burden of financing the concept on themselves or the aid donors who don't have the money to do it.

The Prime Minister says his government will resolve this long delayed concept through active private sector led approach.

He says under government's new initiative, it will allow the private sector to invest into economic development activities in specific zones.

Mr Sogavare says these developments will help stimulate economic progress and advancement.

source: SIBC Online (

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Solomon student in PNG helps Sobou FC to beat Mt Hagen Blue Kumuls

Reigning champions Lahi Sobou have already sounded a warning they will defend their PNG Football Association national soccer club title. The champions thrashed a fired-up Mt Hagen Blue Kumuls 3-0 in the opening match in Pool A, then ousted the home side Kimbe West United 1-0.

Sobou had to go through a hard time before coming out winners. In what was expected to be an easy walk in the park for Sobou, they were held scoreless in the opening quarter of the first half. However, Sobou settled in quickly to co-ordinate play against Kumuls before Sowera Gurti slammed in the opener at the break to lead 1-0.

The Kumuls came back strongly in the second half but it was sobou’s experience that had the champions laughing in the end with two more to douse the Kumuls’ hope. The goals came from Clifford Wate, a Solomon Islander (31st minute) and captain Richard Daniel (60th minute) to seal the game 3-0.

source: PNG Football Association (

Marist FC beat visiting PNG club 5-4 in friendly

Abraham Iniga made sure his club maintains its status as Solomon Islands top club when he scored the winning goal by the stroke of fulltime,yesterday afternoon.

It was cat and mouse affair as both teams searched for their winning goal. PRK Souths from Port Moresby with a host of Solomon Islands players fought brilliantly and kept Marist in check for the entire match.

Solomon Islanders Lawrence Diau and Barnabas Maesubua did well at the centre while Leslie Puia and David Taro kept a tight lid on the Marist forwards.

Marist on the other hand needed the experience of its forwards to dismantle the PRK Souths barricade.

Pacey Abraham Iniga proved his worth as a top contender for the national strip led his charges well creating good goal scoring opportunities. He made sure his club wins the friendly match when he snatched a ball from the visitors defence area, rounded the goalkeeper and cooly placing the ball to the back of the net for a deserved victory.

The visitors will play the national Under 20 boys this afternoon in what is expected to be a tough encounter.

source: SIFF News

Solomon Islands must remain United

By Alfred Maesulia

The Grand Coalition for Change Government is committed to ensuring that Solomon Islands remain united. The Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare said this in his Independence massage to the nation yesterday.

He said: “This is challenging but necessary proposition.

“Our nation Solomon Islands is a unique nation among nations. Our diverse cultures and traditions, religious heritage and exotic environment form the basis or our unity.

Mr. Sogarave said Solomon Islands unity is dynamic in that “it is our responsibility to be vigilant in safeguarding that unity”.

He said his government is very serious about the unity and stability of Solomon Islands.

“We recognize that biggest threat to our unity is government ignoring the cries of our people to be involved in the social, political and economic development of this nation.

“The Grand Coalition for Change is therefore committed about leading this country in the direction that will involve all willing Solomon Islanders, especially indigenous citizens to benefit and be uplifted in their quest for brighter future,” the Prime Minister said.

Hon. Manasseh Sogavare was speaking live on air to the nation over the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation during the 28th Independence Anniversary Celebrations at Lawson Tama Stadium before a crowd of about 5,000 people.

Some of the regional Forum delegates to the Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting also attended the celebrations, which included police parade and cultural dances.

source: Government Communication Unit (

Government is committed to addressing reconciliation: PM Sogavare

Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has re-iterated his Government's determination to address national reconciliation in the country.

Mr Sogavare was responding to recent criticisms by the Parliamentary Opposition Spokesman for Independent members of parliament, Daniel Enele Kwanairara.

Mr Kwanairara has accused Government of not living up to its promises on taking power that it will prioritise the reconciliation process in the country.

Prime Minister Sogavare says that his Government will embark on a comprehensive programme to tackle reconciliation issues.

He says his government will include a wide range of issues such as destruction of properties, killings and compensation in the reconciliation process.

Mr Sogavare says the Government will have to tackle it in a more complex form over a longer period in order to succeed instead of looking at it in a very narrow path.

The Prime Minister says it will take time to finalised and implement the reconciliation programme.

source: SIBC Online (

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