Malaita province executive statement on state of affairs affecting the province and the recent happenings in Honiara

The Malaita Provincial Government held an urgent extra ordinary Executive meeting on Saturday 27th November 2021 on the state of affairs that have affected the MARA Malaita Provincial Government for the last two years and also the current situation in Honiara.

We the Executive have resolved in the following terms:

  1. We observe with sorrow the rioting and destruction happening in Honiara. We condemn the violence, looting and destruction of properties by those involved. We extend our sympathies to those who have suffered as a result of the destruction;
  2. We ourselves have been consistently attacked by the DCGA government and PM Sogavare for the last 2 years, through bribery and abuse of power to cripple our free and lawful desires for our people;
  3. Even last month the MARA government was attacked by the forces of DCGA and Sogavare through corruption and bribery. Auki was faced with a bigger crowd than Parliament was last week;
  4. There could have been riots in Auki but there were not, because our leaders talked to the people and listened to them. Not one Chinese or local store was broken, not one theft was made;
  5. We urge Sogavare and all the MPs to engage with the people and stop hiding. Sogavare has not been seen in days and no one even knows if he is in the country;
  6. It is false and self-serving to talk about democracy as if it only belongs to the MPs sitting in their offices talking to one another. Democracy belongs to the people, every day of their lives, not just on election day;
  7. For too long our people have been treated as rubber stamps, lied to at election time and discarded like empty tins until the next election. People like Sogavare and his Cabinet take this as a mandate to ignore, demean and violate our people and their hopes and their resources for their own purposes;
  8. We in the MARA government have felt this for two years, with life saving equipment held for no reason , aid projects blocked and redirected, our PS falsely accused and improperly suspended, and two motions of no confidence bought through bribery;
  9. We note that Sogavare has been installed as PM by violence already twice in his career;
  10. The first time was in 2000 after the Malaita Eagle Force coup which was led by his now Deputy PM, Maelanga;
  11. The second was after the 2006 riots in which Chinatown was burned to the ground for the first time. At that time the Prime Minister Snyder Rini resigned by writing to the Governor General as provided by the Constitution;
  12. On both occasions Sogavare was happy to accept the position after periods of violent unrest. It is highly hypocritical of him to claim conviction in democratic principles now. It is clear he supports coups and riots when it suits him and his purposes;
  13. In sum, MARA government has zero confidence in the character of Sogavare and zero confidence in the false version of democracy that he practises, which is built on corrupt money from loggers, hidden deals that drain public money from our people, and the abuse of legal powers to intimidate, subjugate and attack true democracy;
  14. We are sad to see the looting that has happened this week;
  15. We are even more sad to see the looting of our national treasury, the rape of our children by loggers and miners, the pillaging of our lands, forests and seas by foreigners for the years past, aided and abetted by Sogavare, the OUR Party personnel and their cronies;
  16. We note the schemes being introduced by the DCGA to take indigenous land away from their real owners, the indigenous people of Solomon Islands;
  17. We also observe with thanks the arrival of Australian police and troops. We have confidence and hope in their neutrality even though Sogavare claims they are supporting him by arriving;
  18. We called on the Australian Government through the presentence of its AFP and ADF to reach out to the Fiji government because we believe Fiji is a more neutral Melanesian brother that would be able to broke any meaningful dialogue between Malaita Province and the National Government;
  19. We see that all the issues that caused the ethnic tension in 1998 remain alive and well, especially the loss of land by Guadalcanal people and the lack of development on Malaita. We also note the desire of the Western Province for federal statehood which has been their cry since Independence;
  20. With the arrival of Australian and regional troops it is a clear reminder that the work of the Townsville Peace Agreement has been completely unfinished since 2000 exacerbating poverty, joblessness and crime;
  21. We recall that Sogavare was PM at the time of signing of the TPA, and that it was hosted and facilitated by the Government of Australia;
  22. We note the TPA is deposited at the UN Security Council and is an internationally recognised agreement;
  23. Therefore we the MARA Executive:

A. REPEAT THE PREMIER SUIDANI’S CALL FOR CALM AND AVOIDANCE OF ALL ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES;

B. CALL FOR ANY AND ALL ATTACKS ON PEOPLE OF ANY PROVINCES TO CEASE;

C. CALL FOR THE PM TO RESPECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE AND RESIGN JUST AS SNYDER RINI DID TO MAKE WAY FOR HIM IN 2006;

D. CALL FOR ALL MALAITA MPS TO RESIGN FROM OUR PARTY AND DCGA IMMEDIATELY;

E. CALL FOR AN IMMEDIATE MEETING OF PARTIES TO THE TPA TO ASSESS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF OBLIGATIONS UNDER PART 4 OF THE TPA.

Source: Office of the Malaita Premier

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