19 Nov 2003

RAMSI to apologize for searching Solomons Governor General

4:59 pm on 19 November 2003

Senior members of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands are to meet the Governor General Father Sir John Ini Lapli to apologise for searching him at Honiara's Henderson Field airport over the weekend.

Governor General Ini Lapli was returning to Honiara from his home province of Temotu on Sunday when he was searched by two Australian Protective Service police officers attached to RAMSI.

The Governor General has complained to Police Commissioner William Morrell.

He said in a letter that the manner in which he was treated and searched on his arrival at the airport was unacceptable.

The Governor General said searching him as though he was a suspected criminal lacked respect and questions the sovereignty of Solomon Islands as a nation.

A RAMSI official has admitted that the search was carried out.

The official said the search was part of RAMSI's ongoing effort to improve security for the benefit of the travelling public and all Solomon Islanders.