Te Karere Ipurangi
Maori News Online
Solomon Islands Coup Supplement
5 Jun 2000
Transcript of News items broadcast by Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation this evening (courtesy of SIBC)
The caucus meeting held late this afternoon to discuss the demands by the joint para-military Malaita Eagles Force operation ended an hour after it started but nothing is known about any decisions made during the meeting.
Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu emerged from the meeting telling an SIBC reporter at the scene of the meeting that he was on his way to see the Governor General, Sir Father John Ini Lapli.
However, Mr Ulufa'alu did not disclose any decision of the Caucus meeting which was attended by only five Cabinet Ministers and several other party Executives.
None of the other caucus members were able to say what was agreed on at the meeting.
Foreign Minister Patteson Oti left at the end of the meeting to brief the European Parliamentary delegation who have been visiting Solomon Islands in the last few days and were scheduled to leave the country today.
The delegation will not now leave because Solomon airlines has cancelled all its international and domestic flights today.
Curfew / Beer Ban
A curfew is to be enforced in Honiara as from this evening.
The curfew will begin 10pm until 5.30 am each day The curfew will be in force until the high office of the joint para-military and Malaita Eagles-Force lifts it.
Mr Nori says the curfew is a measure to control movements of criminals who may wish to take advantage of the fragile situation in Honiara.
Meanwhile Mr Nori also announced that a liquor ban will be effected as of today for a period of 28 days.
He also appealed to black marketers to voluntarily surrender all forms of alcoholic drinks in their premises to the police.
Mr Nori said, failing that, a special unit will forcefully take away the alcoholic drinks.
In other development, Mr Nori revealed that a new command post has been established within police to assist in the rapid deployment of regular police patrols to deal with criminal-related complaints.
Streets are Clear
The streets of Honiara has been cleared and no more armed men have been stationed in certain sectors of the streets.
An SIBC reporter who visited parts of Honiara this afternoon witnessed that only three armed men were seen at the Honiara main market this afternoon.
However, the joint para-military and Malaita Eagle Forces have taken over the Guadalcanal Provincial Headquarters.
And they are now using the premises as their base in the capital.
Meanwhile, members of the forces are also providing security at Solomon Telekom's main office in Honiara.
Ulufa'alu is safe
Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu is safe at his home. And the disarming of his normal personal security officers has in no way put his life at risk.
Mediator of the situation in Honiara Andrew Nori said, instead the prime minister was placed under protective care to prevent any criminal threats or attacks on him, his family or property.
He said as soon as the situation in the capital calms down either today or tomorrow, Mr Ulufa'alu will be left free to leave and enter his premises.
On the same note, Mr Nori said the Governor General remains at his residence and will be continuing his normal duties.
He said the safety of the Governor General remains the duty of the country's regular police.
Nori said if the need arises, the joint Police Para-military/Malaita Eagles Forces will provide additional security for the Head of State's representative.
All ministers of the state have also been assured of their safety and freedom to move around.
Nori assures Commonwealth
Mediator of the joint Police para-military and Malaita Eagles Force operation, Andrew Nori has assured the Commonwealth that a change of government will have to be within the country's constitution.
In a letter to the Acting Commonwealth Special Envoy, Professor Ade Adefuye to explain the intention in carrying out the operation, Mr Nori said it was carried out solely for security purposes and its consequences will be resolved in accordance with domestic law.
Mr Nori says the action taken this morning was not intended to install any particular person as prime minister as has been the practice in military or civilian coups.
He says, any change of prime ministership and government will be done under the country's constitutional requirements.
Mr Nori personally assured the Commonwealth envoy that as a man who believes in democratic principles, he will make sure that democracy remains the basis for Solomon Islands decision making when it comes to changing of governments.
Professor Ade Adefuye this morning told Mr Nori that the Commonwealth and the international community insists on democracy and constitutionality.
Arms and ammunition seized from various police stations and patrol boats have been accounted for.
Mediator of the joint para-military and Malaita Eagles Force Operation Andrew Nori says that arms taken from Auki on Malaita, the Patrol Boats, Rove armoury and the Central Police stations have been recorded and will be returned to the various armouries every evening.
This is in response to queries that arms and ammunitions seized from the armouries maybe used against civilians.
But Mr Nori says, when the situation warrants, all arms and ammunitions will be returned to the armouries where they have been taken from.
He said various heads of divisions have been informed of the directive adding that certain Para-military personal have been tasked to monitor the whereabouts the arms.
There have been various arms and ammunition seizures from Auki police station, Henderson, Rove, Patrol boats and Central police stations over the past few months.
Why joint operation?
The joint operation by members of Solomon Islands para-military and the Malaita Eagle Forces was launched this morning because the government has failed to resolve the ethnic tension.
Mediator of the joint operations, Andrew Nori, said criminals in the last 14 days have ruled the streets causing fear to residents and visitors to Honiara.
Mr Nori also said the national and the Guadalcanal Provincial governments and Guadalcanal militants have failed to respect the unilateral cease-fire guidelines announced by Malaita Eagle Force on May 22 which lapsed today.
He said this makes it unlikely for a cease-fire agreement to be reached within the next few days or weeks. Mr Nori also said the present government has demonstrated within the past 18 months that it no longer has the capacity to find solutions to the current national crisis.
Meanwhile, he said the joint operation is to re-instate law and order in the national capital and on Guadalcanal generally and to restore confidence in the process of governance.
It is also to speed up the current peace process and to prevent the country from disintergrating at the hands of the selfish minority.
Media Free to Report
Media in Solomon Islands have been assured of their freedom to report on what is unfolding in the capital.
Mediator of the Joint Police Para-military and Malaita Eagles Forces operation Andrew Nori says newspapers and radio are free to report on what is happening.
He says this is important for the public to be informed of what is happening. However he cautioned that all sides of the story in what is happening must be reported. Earlier this morning, international telecommunication links were severed.
Trunk calls to the provinces have also been disrupted.
But Mr Nori says, the links will be re-opened as soon as possible.
Solair Cancel Flights
Solomon Airlines today cancelled all domestic and international flights.
This is in contradiction to what the mediator of the joint para-military/Malaita Eagles Force operation Andrew Nori had earlier announced.
In a public statement this morning, Mr Nori said that domestic and international flights will not be affected.
But the management of Solomon Airlines had decided otherwise and cancelled all domestic and international flights.
He also announced that additional personnel will be posted to Henderson international airport to assist airport security guards if the need arises.
Mr Nori had also assured the public that international and domestic telecommunication which were disrupted this morning will be back to normal either today or tomorrow.
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